U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton has been deported from the Philippines, less than a week after being pardoned by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The marine, who was convicted of killing transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude, flew out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday, September 13, onboard an American military aircraft bound for the U.S. according to Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval.
“Pemberton has successfully been deported, military plane left at exactly 9:14 this morning,” she confirmed in a message to reporters on Sunday.
With his deportation, Pemberton was also banned from re-entering the Philippines in the future.
“As a consequence of the deportation order against him, Pemberton has been placed in the Bureau’s blacklist, perpetually banning him from coming back,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
Morente also revealed that Pemberton had been on the BI’s blacklist since Sept. 16, 2015, when he was ordered deported by the bureau’s Board of Commissioners after being charged for murder, and later being convicted of homicide.
Pemberton, in response, filed for a motion for reconsideration in November 2015. However, it was denied as his continued presence in the Philippines is not conducive “for the safety, welfare, happiness, or good order of Philippine society.”
Morente stressed that Pemberton’s criminal case is separate from his immigration case.
“The Bureau saw that he is a risk to public safety, having been found guilty of the crime. Hence he was tagged as an undesirable alien, and will be expelled from the Philippines,” he said.
Before being deported, Pemberton underwent regular processing and booking procedures. He was also required to secure clearances from the appropriate offices, as well as to present a travel document, and outbound travel arrangements.
“Upon completion of the required documents, we immediately implemented the deportation,” Morente said.
“He was escorted by BI agents to ensure that he has boarded his aircraft. Should he attempt to reenter the country after being deported, he will be denied entry and will be excluded,” he added.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide on December 1, 2015 for Laude in 2014. He was sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment.
He was granted absolute pardon by Duterte on Sept. 7, voiding the issue of whether or not he is entitled to good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
The United States Embassy in the Philippines, for its part, said Pemberton has fulfilled his jail sentence.
“All legal proceedings in the case took place under Philippine jurisdiction and law. Lance Cpl. Pemberton fulfilled his sentence as ordered by Philippine courts and he departed the Philippines on September 13,” it said in a statement.
Pemberton to face U.S. court martial proceedings
Malacañang revealed that Pemberton will continue to face court martial proceedings in the U.S. as promised by U.S. authorities.
“Meron pong pinangako ang mga authorities ng Amerika kasama po yung representante ng marine corps (There was a promise made by American authorities along with a representative from the Marine corps),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday, Sept. 14.
“Ang pangako po nila, kung makakalabas si Pemberton, ibig sabihin matatapos na ang proseso sa Pilipinas, pero pag-uwi daw po ni Pemberton, tuloy pa din ang kanyang court martial proceedings at doon po malalaman kung meron pang additional na parusang ipapataw sa kanila at yung kanyang qualification to remain in service (They promised that even if Pemberton is released and the process in the Philippines ended, he will still face court martial proceedings where it will be determined if additional punishment will be imposed and if he is still qualified to remain in service),” he added.