MANILA- Filipina migrant worker Jennifer Dalquez returned here Friday morning after she was acquitted by an Abu Dhabi court of murder, nearly four years since she was imprisoned.
Upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, a tearful Dalquez was immediately met by her family and several government officials.
The 29-year-old was grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration for helping her regain freedom.
"Taos puso po ako nagpapasalamat sa pangulo natin na si Rodrigo Duterte na tinulungan niya ako na makalabas sa bilangguan," Dalquez said.
(I want to thank President Rodrigo Duterte from the bottom of my heart for helping me get out of prison.)
She also thanked Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi for not giving up on her case.
"Secretary Bello, salamat po sa inyo. Saludo po ako sa inyong dalawa [ni Pangulong Duterte] pati po ng embahada ng Pilipinas," Dalquez said.
(Thank you Secretary Bello. I salute the two of you and the Philippine Embassy.)
"Marami salamat sa inyo na hindi kayo nagsawa na tumulong sa akin na ipalabas sa bilangguan," she added.
(Thank you for not getting tired of helping me get out of prison.)
Rajima, her mother, also thanked those who supported her daughter throughout their ordeal.
“Ilang taon din naming hinintay ito, ngayon na andito na siya, maraming salamat sa inyo,” she said.
(We waited for this for years and now that it has happened I just want to thank all of you.)
The 29-year-old Filipina who hails from General Santos City returned to the Philippines nearly four years since she was found guilty and sentenced to death by an Abu Dhabi court for stabbing to death her abusive employer in 2014.
The embassy, through its lawyers, immediately appealed the conviction and successfully had it overturned by a local court in 2017.
Dalquez was subsequently ordered released after completing a five-year jail term for theft last Oct. 25.
She will receive P100,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs and additional aid from the labor department, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.
"This is a victory not only for Jennifer but also the Philippines,” Arriola said.