Filipina maid spared from death row reunites with family

Jennifer Dalquez back in Philippines having served prison term after death penalty sentence was overturned

Dubai: A Filipina domestic worker spared the death penalty last year after being acquitted in a case of murdering her employer is finally home four years after serving her jail term, officials confirmed on Friday.

Jennifer Dalquez, 31, was sentenced to death by the Al Ain Court of First Instance in May 2015 after she was found guilty of killing her employer in December 2014.

Dalquez, however, claimed she acted in self-defence as her employer had tried to rape her at knifepoint.

Her death sentence was overturned by the Al Ain Court of Appeals in June 2017 and Dalquez was instead sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for theft for stealing her employer’s mobile phone.

An official at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday confirmed to Gulf News that Dalquez is finally going home 16 months after she was acquitted of murder.

Dalquez was welcomed by her parents in an emotional homecoming when she arrived in Manila on Friday morning, news site Rappler said, quoting Department of Foreign Affairs officials.

Unable to meet embassy officials before flying home, Dalquez expressed her gratitude to them in a handwritten note.

She said: “I am deeply grateful to the embassy for helping me with my case until my release and to the Philippine government for all the help they extended me. Thank you very much.”

The Philippine government assigns defence lawyers to Filipinos on trial overseas, especially in cases that have a sentence of life imprisonment or death through the government’s legal assistance fund.

Dalquez arrived in Manila with 86 repatriates who availed of the amnesty programme of the UAE.

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