Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday, Sept. 7, admitted being consulted first before President Duterte decided to grant convicted United States Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton pardon.
“I was consulted by the President before he made the decision,” he told reporters.
Even though Pemberton did not apply for pardon, Guevarra assured that the President can grant this to the convicted US serviceman.
“Pardon is an act of grace on the part of the Chief Executive,” the secretary explained.
“He may exercise this plenary power of executive clemency at any time and under any circumstance,” he added.
Pemberton was convicted in 2015 for the 2014 killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude and was sentenced to imprisonment ranging from six to 10 years.
Duterte gave the pardon following opposition to the order of the Olongapo City court for the early release of Pemberton after considering his good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
Earlier, Guevarra said government prosecutors intended to file a motion for reconsideration against the issuance of the release order.