MANILA — Newly-appointed Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa said on Thursday the Bureau of Immigration’s deportation order against United States Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton cannot be implemented while his case is pending trial in a Philippine court.
In a statement, Caguioa said it is within the BI’s jurisdiction to determine a foreigner’s “undesirability” arising from the person’s existing criminal or civil cases.
He added that the BI’s declaration that an alien is undesirable will result to his deportation.
However, the DOJ Secretary stressed that a foreigner cannot be deported until the cases against him pending in Philippine courts have been decided, and in the event that the foreigner is found guilty of the charges, he has to serve his sentence first before he can be deported.
“In the case of United States Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, the murder case filed against him for the alleged murder of transgender Filipina Jeffrey ‘Jennifer’ Laude is still pending trial before an Olongapo City Regional Trial Court. Hence, Pemberton is under the jurisdiction of the trial court and the deportation order issued by the BI cannot be implemented during the pendency of the trial on the case,” Caguioa pointed out. PNA