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UNCENSORED: Presidential Prerogative

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By Manuel L. Morato

The Absolute Pardon given to the United States Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton by President Rodrigo Duterte is justifiable.  Aside from the Presidential Prerogative, the Olongapo City Court’s decision that also ordered the release based on the Good Conduct Time Allowance Act.

According to newspaper reports, Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton “went through all legal proceedings under the Philippine Law.”

Pemberton’s very abled lawyer, Atty. Rowena Garcia Flores, “…wished he had the words to express the depth of his sorrow and regret.”  That’s believable enough for everybody, anyone for that matter who transgresses the law, regrets what he or she has done at the end of the day.

I’ve heard Atty. Rowena Garcia Flores’ interview on Karen Davila’s TV program “Headstart” and I must say that she expressed herself clearly and logically, things many of us have never heard of.  Well said in defense of her client.

In order to prevent such unfortunate incident from happening again; and God willing never again, shouldn’t those indulging in such trade carry an identification card which identifies the holders’ as male, female or transvestite?  Is that against the law on equal rights?  Exempting those who are not in that trade some called “hookers.”  Aren’t they required to carry a card clearing them of diseases from a doctor?  Their true name must reflect on that medical card.

From my friend Patrice, about a week ago, she told me that Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was a teenager at only nineteen years old; and Jennifer Laude was 26 years old.

Subic Naval Base is an R and R port ever since with night clubs and bars for sailors on Rest and Recreation.

I was informed that the Army, Marine, Air Force…. military service in general are drafted as early as 18 years old.  Is that right?

I do not know for sure if the age of majority in the United States, and maybe elsewhere, has been lowered to 18 years old which before was 21 years old.

I can understand if that’s an age of majority, if there is such a law because, in my college days in the U.S., teenagers cannot go to bars for they were still considered minors.  Maybe they’ve lowered from 21 to 18.  I think it’s the voting age now.  If so, voting and getting drunk are two different things.

We have to accept that eighteen, nineteen should still be considered minors, at least as far as drinking alcohol and getting drunk is concerned.  The mere fact they are still in the “teen” age years, they are susceptible to indiscretions and emotional immaturity; especially if they’ve taken hard drinks.

On my part, considering that those young marines who have had hard alcoholic drinks, one too many, the disappointment of having done what he did was highly influenced by the alcohol.  I’ve seen young and old people drink a lot of alcohol and they turned totally into a different person.  I have never learned to drink even from my younger days in college in the U.S. up to now.  I don’t even take beer, nor wine.  A jigger of wine only on formal dinners, just a little in a wine glass over dinner, at times.       

I never cultivated a taste for alcoholic drinks, despite my so many years of high school and college days in America; despite all my classmates and roommates in the dorms who took vodka so as not to be caught when the priest-prefect would inspect from room to room.  I remember my roommate who liked to drink when I asked him: “Bill, why vodka?  That’s so strong, I believe its 90 percent alcohol.  When the Prefect inspects, Bill would lock the bottle in a suitcase under his bed.  He told me that vodka is hard to detect for it emits no smell of alcohol.  No wonder vodka was a popular drink to them.  For one, they never got caught violating the rules in the dormitory that drinking alcoholic drinks are prohibited inside the dorms and on campus.

Maybe this was the situation Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was put in.  Being high in alcohol which he drank in a bar, he believed that Jennifer Laude was truly a woman.

It is a fact that foreigners have difficulty deciphering a transvestite and a real woman for oftentimes the transvestite is even more beautiful than a real woman for they know much more how to fix themselves and to make themselves more presentable.

The locals have no problem.  They can spot “one when they see one.”

The almost six years of incarceration, with good behavior, entitled Pemberton to be released; and it seems that Pemberton was not the killer-type, as many are saying.

Westerners age more in appearance than Asians who look younger in age than the Westerners.

Part of the penalty for his deportation is to never return to the Philippines.  For sure, he would never even think of coming back here again after what had happened to him.  And for sure, he would not marry another Filipina for fear of making another mistake again.

Pemberton had served six years in jail; he had paid millions in damages, and he had expressed his regrets before he departed and even asked for forgiveness.

Yang nangyari ay dala na rin ng kabataan niya noon; at lasing galing sa bar, out to have fun for the short furlough they had in Subic – all that contributed to his committing a mistake.  According to a news report, Pemberton is now 24 years old.  His younger age should have also been taken into consideration.  And Jennifer was 26 years old and Pemberton 19 years old when it happened.

Age matters!

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