Tuesday , May 22, 2018

Mindanao migrant group urges Duterte to save convicted OFW

THE Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI) in Davao on Thursday, March 23, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to save a Mindanaoan Overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who is facing a death sentence in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), 30-year-old worker Jennifer Dalquez of General Santos City has been sentenced to death for allegedly killing her employer last December 7, 2014.

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy in the UAE will assist Dalquez in appealing the sentence.

The MMCEAI, in an emailed statement to SunStar Davao, said the court will hear the appeal for Dalquez, which will be lodged by her family and supporters under the "Save Jennifer Dalquez Campaign" on Monday, March 27.

They are also calling on the National Government to help them.

Dalquez, according to the group, is a victim of a sexual abuse. It added that the government, recalling earlier this year, failed to save the life of a Mindanaoan OFW who was convicted for years in Kuwait.

Dalquez's family and supporters are hoping that the government will save her.

"The Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions stands with the Dalquez family and friends in their appeal and call to save Jennifer from death row. She was a victim of sexual abuse and poverty, who is now facing uncertainty for her life," the MMCEAI said.

Dalquez left the Philippines in 2011 to work in Abu Dhabi to support the needs of her two young children and her parents as well. The family lives in a poor community in General Santos City.

On December 14, 2014, Dalquez claimed that her employer attempted to rape her with a knife pointed at her. In her struggle to save herself, she managed to turn the knife on her assaulting employer and fatally wounded him.

At the time of her arrest, medical evidence confirmed that Dalquez suffered physical abuse, like bruises and cigarette burns on her arms, allegedly inflicted by her employer.

Dalquez also claimed that early in her employment, she had already gone through sexual harassment, mental intimidation, and physical violence. This ordeal placed her in constant fear especially on occasions when she was alone with him in her employer's house.

In May 2015, Al Ain Criminal Court convicted Jennifer Dalquez of murdering her Emirati employer. She was sentenced to die for killing the man she claimed to be her would-be rapist, despite pleading that it was an act of self-defense, the MMCEAI said.