If there is a time you are called to be fair, be fair: Duterte on Pemberton pardon

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“If there is a time where you are called upon to be fair, be fair, be fair,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on September 7 after he granted United States Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton absolute pardon.

President Duterte sa “walang record kasi ‘yung lugar, alin doon na detenado si Pemberton sa Marines, sa garrison. Ang Marines never kept a record of the — hindi trabaho ng Marines ‘yan na magbantay kasi hindi ‘yan sila BJMP o taga-Muntinlupa. BJMP noong hini-hear pa ‘yung kaso.”

“Ang problema nito ganito, sinong magsabi ngayon na noong detenado siya nagkakalat siya sa loob, sumisigaw siya o sinisira niya, he destroys things? Wala eh. Kasi walang listahan. Wala namang nakalagay doon because wala talaga,” he added.

“So it is not the fault of Pemberton na hindi na na-compute because we should allow him the good character presumption kasi wala namang nag-report na Marines na nagsabi nagwawala siya. The Marines could have reported if it were otherwise to the Secretary of Justice or to the police, to the PNP, na itong tao na ito magulo, parang lasing araw-araw, nagsisigaw ganun,” President Duterte said. “So ‘yung presumption kasi wala namang sumbong, ‘di walang ginawa ‘yung taong masama. In fairness, tapos na ‘yung kuwentada, he was recommended to be released, ‘di i-release mo. Kaya isip-isip ko — nakikinig lang ako sa ‘yung sa newspaper pati sa radyo — sabi ko, it is not fair, hindi makatarungan.”

“So sabi ko kay Secretary Medialdea, si ES, pati si ang Secretary of — pinatawag ko sila dito ngayon kanina — Menardo Guevarra, sabi ko, “It’s my decision to pardon. Correct me if I’m wrong, but ito ang tingin ko sa kaso. You have not treated Pemberton fairly so i-release ko. Pardon.” Eh ang pardon walang maka-question niyan. It’s — wala talaga, it cannot be questioned anywhere,” President Duterte said.