AN overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was spared from death row after she was declared innocent of a murder charge by an appeals court last Monday.
Jennifer Dalquez was earlier sentenced to death by the Court of First Instance of Al Ain in May 2015 for allegedly killing her employer.
Dalquez’s legal counsel, provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), appealed her case before the Court of Appeals in Al Ain, arguing that she was defending herself from her employer who attempted to rape her.
“Ms. Dalquez was declared innocent without diyyah or payment of blood money,” the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi said in a statement.
The decision to acquit the 30-year-old OFW was handed on June 19. However, the embassy said Dalquez won’t be able to go home yet as she must finish a jail sentence for a different offense.
Dalquez was sentenced to five years in prison, less the number of days spent in jail, for stealing a mobile phone.
She has been in jail since 2014. Through the assistance of the DFA, her parents were able to visit her in Al Ain in October 2015 and March 2017.
A resident of General Santos City, Dalquez was forced to look for a job overseas to earn money for her family. She has two children.
Migrante International was among the first to receive news about Dalquez’s acquittal.
“We have talked to Jennifer’s parents and they confirmed that they were contacted by the Department of Foreign Affairs who relayed to them the good news. We also thank the DFA for having graciously imparted directly to us the positive update,” the organization said in a statement.
Migrante also thanked all those who supported the “Save Jennifer Dalquez” campaign.
There are 88 Filipinos on death row in various countries, most of them for drug trafficking, including Mary Jane Veloso, who is detained in Indonesia.