OFW Jennifer Dalquez seeks acquittal

Don Kevin Hapal

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OFW Jennifer Dalquez seeks acquittal
(UPDATED) Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Constancio Vingno Jr says Jennifer Dalquez's lawyer moved for her acquittal after the sons of her victim skipped a hearing they were instructed by the court to attend

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Filipino death row convict Jennifer Dalquez has asked a United Arab Emirates court to acquit her of murder.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Constancio Vingno Jr said in a statement through The Filipino Times on Wednesday, April 26, that Dalquez’s lawyer moved for her acquittal after the sons of her victim skipped a hearing they were instructed by the Al Ain Judicial Court to attend.

Vingno said that the victim’s two sons did not attend the hearing on April 12, the second hearing they had ignored since the judge called on them to appear before the court on February 27.  (READ: ‘TIMELINE: How Jennifer Dalquez ended up on death row‘ )

“Counsel for OFW Dalquez moved for acquittal of his client in view of the absence of the legal heirs of the alleged victim and their refusal to swear in the name of Allah that the accused is the only one person responsible for the death of the victim,” Vingno said.

UAE’s Court of Appeals wants the two sons to swear 50 times, in the name of Allah, that “Jennifer is the only person, and no other person, [who] killed their father.” If they do so, the court will uphold the death sentence on Dalquez.

When the judge asked Dalquez what her requests were, she asked to be acquitted and allowed to return to the Philippines, said Vingno.

The court’s judgment will be announced on May 24. 

Dalquez, who is from General Santos City, was imprisoned in December 2014, and was sentenced to death in May 2015 for killing her male employer.

She said her employer tried to rape her at knifepoint and she accidentally killed him in self-defense.

In Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella reiterated the Philippine government’s continued assistance to Dalquez.

“The Philippine government is doing everything to provide help for Ms Dalquez. The Department of Foreign Affairs us in touch with her family and continues to facilitate legal assistance,” Abella said in a  statement on Wednesday. – Rappler.com

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.