SENATE President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday said that courts should be allowed to decide on the release of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton.
The Senate President explained that the rule of law should prevail on issues concerning the case of Pemberton, who was convicted for killing Filipino trans-woman Jennifer Laude in Olongapo City in 2014.
“As regards Pemberton, he was imprisoned in accordance with the law, and his release should also be under our laws,” said Sotto in a text message to Senate reporters.
“We are a government of laws, and not of emotion. They must apply to all with Lady Justice blindfolded, without regard to nationality. Let our courts decide,” he added.
Sotto’s statement came following public outcry on the early release of the American serviceman as allowed by the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court thru the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
On Friday, the Department of Justice said it would put on hold Pemberton’s release, saying it will also file a motion for reconsideration on the court’s decision.
In his earlier statement, Pemberton’s release could be included in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation on the issues on the Bureau of Correction’s implementation of GCTA last year.