Malacañang says it is up to the United States if they would allow US Marine Lance Cpl Joseph Scott Pemberton to walk free. 

000 8PV3NN 1024x768 - ‘It’s US’ call if Pemberton should walk free,’ says Roque
This handout photo taken and released by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration on September 13, 2020 shows US marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton (C), who was convicted of killing a transgender woman and recently pardoned by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, escorted by immigration officers and US personnel as he arrives at the airport in Manila. (Photo by Handout / PHILIPPINE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pemberton was deported back to the US last week following the grant to him of an absolute pardon by President Duterte six years after he was found guilty of murdering Filipino transwoman Jennifer Laude.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the US Marine Corps said that Pemberton would no longer face court-martial proceedings in America since he had already served the court-imposed penalty for his actions.

In his Thursday presser, Roque said the situation is now in the hands of the United States.

“That’s a decision of the US government,” he said.

“Although, I take note that they have said that he will be processed for administrative discharge. Meaning, he will be fired as a marine,” he added.

President Duterte granted absolute pardon to Pemberton on September 7 because it was unfair to deny him good conduct time credits if his jailers failed to keep a record of his behavior.

Pemberton was deported over the weekend.

On Monday, Roque said that the US promised in 2015 that Pemberton will still undergo court-martial in America in case he gets freed.

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