DOJ opposing Pemberton release

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    THE Justice Department will file today, Monday, its own motion for reconsideration on the early release of US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted of the 2014 killing of transgender Jennifer Laude in Olongapo City.

    The motion will be filed by state prosecutors before the sala of Olongapo City RTC Branch 74 Judge Roline Ginez Jabalde.

    The court is also set to hear today the motion filed last week by the sister of Laude through their lawyer, Virgie Suarez, questioning the release of Pemberton on Good Conduct Time Allowance.

    DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said state prosecutors, in the motion, are expected to raise jurisdiction issues and questions on the computation of the GCTA.

    “We’d rather not discuss our arguments in public. These are subjudice matters,” Guevarra said.

    Guevarra had earlier said he hopes the Office of the Solicitor General will join the DOJ in its motion.

    Pemberton was given full GCTA credits by Jabalde and ordered released from detention four years ahead of his 10-year sentence for killing Laude. With the GCTA credits, Jabalde said Pemberton had exceeded his full prison sentence.

    But Laude’s sister, Marilou, questioned the release, saying that under the Bureau of Correction’s computation, Pemberton would serve 10 more months.

    She also asked Pemberton’s camp to produce proof on his supposed good conduct records while he was serving his sentence at the JUSMAG facility inside Camp Aguinaldo.

    Pemberton, through his counsel, Rowena Flores, had asked the court to junk Laude’s motion, saying she had lost the legal right to appeal his release since his criminal liability has been extinguished upon pardon, commutation of sentence, and GCTA earned under Article 94 of the Revised Penal Code.

    Flores said Pemberton has also completed the full payment of P4.6 million in damages to Laude’s heirs.