Pleading for mercy: Solons file House reso as calls mount to spare OFW on death row

Mar. 01, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Gabriela Women’s partylist Rep. Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas filed House Resolution 829 on Wednesday, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to seek executive clemency ​from the ​United Arab Emirates government ​for an overseas Filipino worker from General Santos City who is facing an execution.

The parents of Jennifer Aresgado Dalquez also went to Congress when they arrived from General Santos City, They were joined by members of Migrante, other Makabayan lawmakers, and Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas of the 3rd district of Pangasinan.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella in a press briefing said the request is a matter for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“It will be the task of the DFA to further that request,” Abella said.

De Jesus said Dalquez, 30 was sentenced to die by a trial court after she killed, in self-defense, her employer who attempted to rape her.

She said Dalquez was doing cleaning services for households on the side while working as an assistant to a doctor in the UAE.

“In December 7, 2014, an Arab local contacted her to clean their home. The local attempted to rape her at knifepoint. She fought back to defend herself and accidentally killed the aggressor,” she said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that we welcome the women’s month today with a Filipina migrant worker begging for her life. President Duterte should do whatever he can to save Dalquez from execution in UAE,” De Jesus added.

Brosas also challenged Duterte to fulfill his promise of creating sufficient jobs locally and ensuring the welfare of workers.

“Panahon na para totohanin ni Presidente Duterte ang pangako nito. Simulan niya sa pagbabasura ng sistemang ENDO at sa pagtatayo ng mga industriyang maglilikha ng trabaho para sa lahat. Let his promises be not empty rhetoric as his words alone will never satisfy hungry stomachs (It is time for President Duterte to fulfill this promise. He should start it by junking the ENDO system and by putting up industries that will create jobs for everyone),” Brosas said.

De Jesus also urged Duterte to rethink the push for the death penalty, saying “it weakens our grounds to save OFWs from the death row.”

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines also called on the public to pray and support the bid to stay the execution of Dalquez.

“Prayer and work are one. As the season of Lent draws near, we bid everyone to reflect on the ways we have been insensitive to the welfare of others. May we grow even vigilant that these things which deny abundant life be things of the past,” the NCCP said in a statement.

It also called on the government to do more to protect Filipino migrant workers especially women.

“Unless measures are taken to protect them, their vulnerability to abuse remains high the great risk they took for enforced migration notwithstanding. We will not grow tired in calling attention to the call for national industrialization among others as a way of keeping our people home,” it said. (

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