MANILA, Philippines – After nearly 4 years in an Abu Dhabi prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), overseas Filipino worker Jennifer Dalquez was finally reunited with her family in Manila on Friday morning, November 2.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released photos of Dalquez’s emotional homecoming shortly after her arrival in Manila, where she was welcomed by her family.
She arrived in a Philippine Airlines flight that also carried 86 undocumented Filipinos who availed themselves of the 3-month UAE amnesty program, the DFA said in a statement.
Dalquez was sentenced to death for murdering her employer in 2014. While she was acquitted of murder charges in 2017, she had to serve a jail term for theft that ended on October 25, the DFA said. (TIMELINE: Jennifer Dalquez's journey to death row and acquittal)
Photo by Jae Maryanol
The DFA said that before Dalquez boarded her flight back to the Philippines on Thursday night, November 1, she thanked the Philippine government for fighting for her freedom. She reiterated her words of gratitude upon her arrival in Manila.
"Taos-puso po ako nagpapasalamat sa embahada na tinulungan po ako nila sa kaso ko hanggang makalaya at sa gobyerno ako po'y taos-pusong nagpasalamat sa inyo sa tulong na ginawa 'nyo sa akin. Maraming, maraming salamat po!” Dalquez said in a handwritten statement to the Philippine embassy in the UAE.
(I'd like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the embassy for helping me with my case until I was freed, and also my heartfelt gratitude to the government for all your help. Thank you very, very much!)
Dalquez was not able to personally talk to Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana as she was escorted by UAE authorities directly to the plane, but the OFW talked to Quintana over the phone before she boarded her flight.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said Dalquez’s acquittal reflected the commitment of the Philippine government in promoting the rights and welfare of Filipino workers abroad.
Dalquez was sentenced to death for killing her employer in 2014. She said she acted in self defense as her employer attempted to rape her at knifepoint. The DFA through the Philippine embassy in the UAE provided her legal assistance and worked for her acquittal.
Dalquez also received assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. DOLE had given livelihood assistance to her parents and a scholarship to her child. – Rappler.com