Press Release
September 11, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 909:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Further Comments on the Grant of Pardon to Pemberton


After repeatedly declaring himself free of American influence, the old man in Malacañang pardoned, absolved, and defended an American who killed a Filipino citizen. In spite of repeatedly asking Congress to restore the death penalty against heinous crime offenders, Mr. Duterte allowed a murderer to go free, well before his full sentence. In a big, "screw you" to the Filipino people, Mr. Duterte, yet again, took the side of a criminal.

As with anything Mr. Duterte does under his administration, his grant of pardon to Scott Pemberton does nothing for the Filipino people - except to inflict further injustice. The Laude family, the LGBT community, and the whole Filipino nation opposed Pemberton's early release. The DOJ and the BuCor could not justify the grant of GCTA. And Pemberton's camp did not even apply for pardon, as reportedly and curiously, Duterte's decision was "solely his own" without even a request from the US government.

The grant of GCTA to Pemberton is absolutely indefensible. The Olongapo Court has lost jurisdiction over the case and person of Pemberton after the latter's conviction attained finality. And, isn't it that the grant of GCTA remains suspended by the DOJ? There is no showing that Pemberton's camp followed the process in availing of the GCTA. Perhaps when informed that there are no legal grounds to support the grant of GCTA, Mr. Duterte, in his own twisted psyche, found this an opportunity to flex his presidential brattines to the detriment of our national interest.

During the peak of the GCTA controversy, Mr. Duterte ordered the grantees to return to the correctional facilities. He offered a reward of one million pesos each for the capture of these grantees, dead or alive. Some of them died soon after they returned while waiting for the process of their GCTA anew. Mr. Duterte did not even spare them a thought. Then he freed murderer Pemberton.

The Laude family cannot believe that Duterte can do this, after he told them to go on fighting for justice because supposedly he got their back. By now this word has been repeated much often by those who placed their hopes on Duterte's promises. NaDuterte. Defined, it means to be scammed, taken for a ride, lied to, and fooled, BIG TIME.

NaDuterte ang mga Laude, naDuterte na naman ang mga Pilipino. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 909, here:

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