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UAE CA acquits OFW of murder

By ROY MABASA, With report from Samuel Medenilla

The Court of Appeals in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has acquitted overseas Filipino worker Jennifer Dalquez of the crime of murder, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday.

According to the DFA, the acquittal of Dalquez was issued at a hearing last June 19. She was declared innocent without diyyah or payment of blood money.

Nonetheless, based on a report by the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she was sentenced to five years imprisonment less the number of days she spent in jail, for stealing a mobile phone.

The 30-year-old OFW was arrested on Dec. 7, 2014 in connection with the murder of her employer who allegedly tried to rape her. The Court of First Instance of Al Ain meted the death sentence on Dalquez on May 20, 2015.

The DFA said it has extended all assistance to Dalquez, including provision of a lawyer since her case was heard by the Court of First Instance in March 2015.

It said it was through her embassy-hired counsel that the Filipina argued that she was defending herself from his attempt to rape her when the incident occurred.

The Filipina’s parents also traveled to the UAE to visit her in October 2015 and in March 2017, through the assistance of the DFA.

Following the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) court to acquit Jennifer Dalquez on Monday, Migrante International has called on the government to also intensify its appeal for the clemency of other overseas Filipino workers (OFW), who are on death row abroad.

“We would like to call on President (Rodrigo) Duterte and DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) to push for the clemency of other OFWs, who are facing a death sentence,” Migrante International spokesperson Arman Hernando said in a phone interview.

“We stand resolute to continue with the fight to save all Filipinos on death row,” he added.