Olongapo court orders release of Pemberton
MANILA, Philippines — The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court has ordered the release of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton who was convicted for the death of a Filipino transgender woman.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide on Dec. 1, 2015, for killing transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014. He was sentenced to suffer 6 to 10 years imprisonment.
In an order dated Sept. 1 and signed by Olongapo RTC Presiding Judge Roline M. Ginez-Jabalde, Pemberton has a total accumulated time served of 10 years, one month, and 10 days. The computation has included the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).
The Uniform Manual on Time Allowances and Service of Sentence defines GCTA as a “privilege granted to a Person Deprived of Liberty (PDL), entitling him/her to a reduction of prison term for every month of actual detention or service of the sentence as a reward for good conduct and exemplary behavior.”
Republic Act 10592 has increased the GCTA provided to persons deprived of liberty.
Under the Law, in the first two years of imprisonment, the deduction has been increased from five days of each month of good behavior to 20 days. On the third to the fifth year inclusive of his imprisonment, the deduction has been increased from eight days to 23 days for each month of good behavior during detention. The following year to the tenth year inclusive of imprisonment, the deduction has been increased from 10 days to 25 days for each month of good behavior, and on the 11th month and successive years, the deduction has been increased from 15 days to 30 days.
In the case of Pemberton who was preventively detained for 405 while his trial is ongoing earned 260 GCTA points while in the succeeding years of his detention after he was convicted, he earned the perfect score of 20 days deduction per month from December 2015 and the 12 months of 2016.
For 2017 to December 2019, he earned 23 days reduction per month and 25 days per month from January to August 2020.
“Finally, accused Pemberton has a total accumulated time served with the entitlement of GCTA of 10 years, 1 month and 10 days which is more than the 10-year maximum penalty imposed by this court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Thus, he is now entitled to be released for he had already served the 10-year maximum penalty,” the court said.
Pemberton’s actual imprisonment is only six years.
Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said they have already received the release order for Pemberton.
However, Pemberton is detained at a restricted facility in Camp Aguinaldo, pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement.
No official has yet to confirm if Pemberton has been released or would be released anytime soon.[ac]
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