Philippines

OFW saved from UAE death row returns home, reunites with family

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OFW saved from UAE death row returns home, reunites with family

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (Philippines News Agency) — An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from this city who was saved from the death row in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has returned home and reunited with her family on Thursday.

Jennifer Dalquez, accompanied by her parents Rajima and Abdulhamid, arrived aboard a commercial flight from Manila at around 4 p.m., two weeks after being freed from detention in UAE.

Jennifer turned emotional upon seeing her two sons, Mohajid, 10, and Abdurahim, 7, after being away for more than seven years.

“She was very happy to finally see them after what she’d been through these past several years,” Rajima said in a radio interview.

Jennifer, who proceeded to her home in Barangay Labangal here, begged off from media interviews as she requested for some private time with her family.

Rajima said they consider her daughter’s acquittal of the murder charges and release from prison last Oct. 25 as a “miracle.”

Jennifer, 31, was sentenced to death by a court in Al Ain, UAE in May 2015 for stabbing her employer to death on Dec. 7, 2014.

During the trial, she said the act was in self-defense after her Emirati employer tried to rape her.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assisted her in appealing the case and was eventually received an acquittal on June 19, 2017.

But she remained in detention to complete a five-year jail term for theft.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he had threatened to implement a deployment ban for OFWs to UAE if it pushed through with Jennifer’s execution.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III confirmed that he and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac had flown to Abu Dhabi to relay to UAE officials the President’s sentiments.

“We are very grateful to the President and everyone who helped (Jennifer) in her ordeal and made sure that she would return home,” Rajima said.

Jennifer arrived in Manila last Nov. 2 along with more than 80 undocumented workers in UAE who received amnesty.

She and her parents were met in Malacanang on Tuesday by President Duterte, who handed over cash assistance and promised livelihood opportunities for her.

Rajima said her daughter has decided not to return abroad and instead pursue work opportunities here.

“She decided to stay here so she can also take care of her children,” she added. (PNA)

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