June 9, 2015 11:37 AM
Swordsmen executioners of Saudi. AFP FILE PHOTO
MANILA – A Filipina household service worker in Abu Dhabi has been found guilty of murder after stabbing dead her employer who had tried to rape her, and she is appealing her capital punishment before the appeals court there.
In a news release, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Jennifer Aresgado Dalquez, who been working for her Emirati employer since November 2013 in a live-out arrangement, was sentenced to death last 20 May 2015 by the Al Ain Court of First Instance.
“We pray that Dalquez will be saved from the death penalty, and we pin our hopes, too, on the steadfast assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has continuously provided her legal assistance since January 2015,” she said.
“Our Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Abu Dhabi, headed by Labor Attaché Ophelia N. Almenario, is updated with the development of the case, and is ready to dispatch necessary assistance,” the labor chief added.
DFA has reaffirmed its commitment to provide continued legal and consular assistance to Dalquez, Baldoz said.
Through its embassy in Abu Dhabi, DFA has been assisting Dalquez since January 2015, when they learned of her situation.
“Labor Attaché Almenario has joined our envoy to UAE, Ambassador Grace Relucio Princesa, and the Philippine embassy’s Assistance to Nationals (ATN) team during their visit to Dalquez in an Al Ain jail, but she was in the court for the proceedings during the visit,” Baldoz said.
Earlier, the labor secretary assured that her department, through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), will provide assistance to Dalquez and her family despite her not being an active OWWA member.
“I have given instructions early enough for the OWWA to visit the Dalquez family and assist its members identify their priority needs so these can be specifically addressed within definitive timelines,” Baldoz added.
Dalquez, according to the DFA, is being represented by Atty. Nasser Al Shamsi.
“DFA has approved a legal assistance fund for Dalquez’s defense and it will meet with Atty. Al Shamsi again to plan what steps will be taken next,” said Baldoz.