A FILIPINA who was convicted of murdering her employer and sentenced to die has been acquitted by the Court of Appeals in Al Ain, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
The department said household worker Jennifer Dalquez was found innocent after “without diyyah or payment of blood money” she argued that she was only defending herself from her employer’s attempt to molest her.
“The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates reported to the DFA that the Court of Appeals in Al Ain acquitted Jennifer Dalquez from the alleged crime of murder,” the department said.
Dalquez, 30, a mother of two and employed as a domestic worker in Abu Dhabi, said her employer tried to rape her at knife point on Dec. 14, 2014.
In May 2015, Dalquez was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death but her legal counsel file an appeal before the Court of Appeal.
The DFA noted that all through the process, the agency has provided Dalquez a lawyer and financed her parents’s visit in Al Ain in October 2015 and March 2017.
“The department has extended all assistance to Ms. Jennifer Dalquez, including provision of a lawyer since her case was heard by the Court of First Instance in March 2015,” the DFA said.
Dalquez cannot return to the Philippines yet, however, as the court sentenced her to five years for the theft of a mobile phone.
Since she has already spent two-and-a-half years in jail, she is expected to go home in more than two years.
Her mother, Alicia Dalquez confirmed the news of her acquittal.
“I am overjoyed. I felt relieved [by the decision]. I have no fear anynore,” Dalquez’s mother said in Filipino on a TV interview over GMA-7.
Her mother said that Dalquez has opted not to work overseas after her ordeal.
Lawmakers on Tuesday welcomed the news of Dalquez’s acquittal and commended the government agencies that helped save her from death row.
Kabayan Party-List Rep. Harry Roque, however, used news of the Filipina’s acquittal to his opposition to the reimposition of the death penalty being pushed by the Duterte administration.
“One OFW spared. Restoration of death penalty in the Philippines will result in loss of our ascendancy to ask clemency for our OFWs,” Roque said as he specifically congratulated the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Foreign Affairs for a life saved.
“One life is ever so precious,” Roque said. With Maricel V. Cruz
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