Pemberton inches closer to release, now under Immigration custody

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US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton and his lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores during the turnover process on September 11

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — Convicted US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is a step closer to leaving his detention facility and flying home after the Bureau of Corrections on Friday turned him over to the custody of the Bureau of Immigration.

He will remain in the Joint US Military Assistance Group detention facility in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City while his documents are being finalized for his immediate deportation. The BuCor personnel assigned to guard him were recalled and replaced by Immigration officials from its intelligence division.

BI acting spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said the transfer of Pemberton from BuCor to their agency means he has received clearance from the court that there are no pending cases against him. He added the camp of Pemberton has to finalize his flight schedule and travel documents so he can be deported back to the United States.

"Kapag nakumpleto po natin ito, that would be the time na dadalhin siya sa airport para sa flight schedule na out of the country at we have to ensure na siya ay nakaalis," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: Once we receive the complete documents, we will bring him to the airport. We will also ensure that he has left the country.]

BI added Pemberton may be deported over the weekend.

The American serviceman convicted of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014 received absolute pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this week after serving nearly six years in detention for homicide.

In October 2014, Laude was found dead in an Olongapo City motel room after a night out with then 19-year-old Pemberton, who confessed to killing her after finding out she was a transgender. The 26-year-old was found alone in the bathroom with her neck blackened with strangulation marks and head rammed into a toilet.