Sotto to the critics of Duterte’s pardon to Pemberton: “Amend the constitution if you wish”

Senate President Vicente Sotto III told the critics that the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to pardon US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is immune to any challenge.

In a tweet, Sotto said that the 1987 constitution itself granted the President of the Philippines to pardon any convicted person.

Because of the pardon, Pemberton’s civil rights were already fully restored.

According to the Senate President, the only thing that critics could do if they wanted to stop the President from granting pardon is to change the constitution.

“Pardon of a convict is a power granted to the President by d Constitution Article VII, Sec 19. Such charity is immune from any challenge from any person, institution or other branch of government,” said Sotto.

“Any complaint about its exercise is futile. Seek to amend the Consti if u wish,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that President Duterte “ended” all the debate about Pemberton issues, including his Good Conduct and Time Allowance (GCTA) after he pardoned the US soldier.

“That settled all debates and discussion on the legality of Pemberton’s GCTA issues. Some people may question the wisdom and reasons behind the grant of absolute pardon by the President until they are black and blue,” Lacson stated.

“Since we cannot question the exercise of that power by the President under the Constitution, it will be a waste of time and effort to further deliberate on the matter,” he added.

Not all lawmakers are in favor of Duterte’s decision including Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“The Presidential pardon of Pemberton is an unbelievable affront to the LGBTQI+ community & to the Filipino people. Many Filipinos who committed lesser crimes are never afforded this privilege. Isang Amerikanong pumatay sa Pilipina pa ang inuna,” Hontiveros stated.

Yesterday, President Duterte granted Pemberton a pardon, a few months after the camp of the latter paid millions of pesos to the family of Jennifer Laude.

The decision has been criticized by netizens, including Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who urged her followers to register and vote in the 2022 presidential elections.



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