MANILA — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by United States Navy Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton in connection with the murder case on the death of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in Olongapo City on Oct. 11, 2014.
In a nine-page resolution signed by Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima and promulgated on Feb. 20, 2015, the DOJ denied the MR filed by Pemberton for lack of merit.
In his MR, Pemberton asked for reconsideration of the DOJ resolution dated Jan. 27, 2015 denying his petition for review of the resolution of the Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO) which found probable cause against him for murder as defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Pemberton assailed the finding of probable cause purportedly based on what he called “additional evidence” which the Olongapo CPO has allegedly no authority to receive and which he claimed he did not have the opportunity to address and rebut.
The “additional evidence” which Pemberton referred to are the pieces of evidence which the Olongapo CPO received after he was allegedly declared to have waived his right to file a counter-affidavit on Oct. 27, 2014.
He argued that the evidence on record does not establish probable cause against him for either murder or homicide.
He added that the DOJ’s finding of the existence of the qualifying circumstances of treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty disregards jurisprudence requiring that these circumstances must be established by direct evidence.
”We reviewed the facts and the procedural backdrop of this case vis-à-vis the arguments in the Motion for Reconsideration and found no sufficient justification to reverse, alter or modify the Resolution dated 27 January 2015,” the DOJ resolution said.
”We also affirm the findings of the OCP-Olongapo City on the existence of the circumstances of treachery, abuse of superior strength, and cruelty which qualify the crime to murder,” it added.