Dubai: The mother of a Filipina maid who was sentenced to death in Al Ain has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and authorities to help their daughter.
Rajima Dalquez, the mother of Jennifer, a domestic worker who was sentenced to death penalty in May 2015, asked authorities to come to their daughter’s aid in a video interview circulating on social media last week.
Jennifer, 30, was found guilty of killing her employer on December 7, 2014. She claimed it was in self-defence as the man tried to rape and threatened to kill her.
“I would like to appeal to authorities because my daughter called me yesterday afternoon,” the teary-eyed mother said in the video. “My daughter called me yesterday urging me to seek help from President Duterte to help secure her acquittal and be sent back as soon as possible to the Philippines. She said her final hearing was scheduled on February 11.”
Philippine Vice-Consul Rowena Daquipil from the embassy in Abu Dhabi, however, clarified that the embassy is constantly assisting Dalquez.
“We would like to clarify that the embassy has been assisting OFW Dalquez from the very beginning and has assigned her a defence lawyer. We also facilitated her parents’ visit here in the UAE in 2015. Her final hearing with the Court of Appeals is on February 27 and not on February 11,” Daquipil told Gulf News.
“If the decision, however, is against our favour, we will continue to appeal the case with the Supreme Court.”
The Philippine government assigns defence lawyers to Filipinos in trial overseas, especially in cases that have a sentence of life imprisonment or death through the government’s legal assistance fund (LAF). Last year, some 54 cases in Abu Dhabi were assisted through the LAF amounting to Dh1.1 million.
Rajima said Jennifer’s two children are longing to see their mum again.
“Her kids keep asking us when their mum would be home again. On the phone the other day, we heard them urging her to come home. One of them said: ‘I’m bigger now but I have not seen you in person yet.’ Hearing them say those things just breaks my heart,” Rajima said.
Rajima said she hopes Duterte would hear their plea even as plans are underway for his visit to the UAE this year.