MANILA — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed hope that Jennifer Aresgado Dalquez, a household service worker in Abu Dhabi who was adjudged guilty of murder, but who pleaded ‘self-defense,’ will be spared from the death penalty.
“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 continuously provides her legal assistance since January 2015. 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,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz said the sentence was meted by the court of first instance, and the hope is in the appeal to be made for Dalquez’s case.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reaffirmed its commitment to provide continued legal and consular assistance to OFW Dalquez, who was sentenced to death last May 20, 2015 by the Al Ain Court of First Instance for stabbing to death her Emirati employer who attempted to rape her. She has been working for the Emirati since November 2013, but in a live-out arrangement.
The DFA said that through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, it 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, Baldoz assured that the DOLE, 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.
“The 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.