Pemberton pardon only shows ‘unfair’ justice system in PH — priest

Pemberton pardon only shows ‘unfair’ justice system in PH — priest

Jesuit Fr. Silvino Borres, president of the Coalition Against Death Penalty.

By CBCP News

September 8, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic priest who works with inmates joined critics in condemning the presidential pardon to a US Marine, who was convicted of killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014.

Jesuit Father Silvino Borres said the early pardon of L/Cpl Joseph Scott Pemberton only shows the ‘unfair justice system’ under the Duterte administration.

President Rodrigo Duterte has granted an “absolute pardon” to Pemberton in a move that would free him from imprisonment.

The surprise decision came despite the 25-year-old American soldier serving just over half of his 10-year sentence.

“The court order for early release and then subsequently an absolute pardon by President Duterte is yet another instance of an unfair justice system under this current administration,” Fr. Borres said.

A local court in Olongapo City earlier ruled that the American serviceman is eligible for early release due to good behavior.

Fr. Borres, who is also the president of the Coalition Against Death Penalty, expressed hope that Duterte will also grant pardon to other inmates who are more deserving.

“We are hoping he would extend the same benevolence to thousand of other inmates who are more deserving than Pemberton,” he said.

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