The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, on Monday pardoned the U.S. Navy, who was convicted of the murder of a transsexual in 2014 after a judge approved his release for good behavior.
Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2015 for the murder of Jennifer Laude, who was found strangled in a motel bathroom in Olongapo City, 90 kilometers north of Manila, in October 2014.
On December 1, Judge Roline Ginez Jabalde ordered the early release of Pemberton for good behavior despite serving only five years of his sentence in a special cell at the Philippine Army Headquarters.
At the time, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque criticized the judge’s forbearance and announced that the Justice Department would appeal the decision. Duterte’s turn was not explained now. Roque has argued that there is no need to make explanations, since granting a “pardon and conditional release is not the job of the judicial system but of the executive”.