Monday, March 6, 2017

Lawmakers take up cudgels for OFW in distress

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News


President Rodrigo Duterte. Wallace Woon, Reuters/Pool
Lawmakers have filed a resolution urging President Duterte to seek executive clemency for an overseas Filipino worker facing execution in the United Arab Emirates.
At the same time, the Gabriela party-list reiterated its position against the death penalty bill in Congress.
Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said Jennifer Aresgado Dalquez, 30, from Mindanao was sentenced to die by a trial court after she killed, in self-defense, her employer who attempted to rape her.
"It is unfortunate that we welcome the women's month today with a Filipina migrant worker begging for her life. President [Rodrigo] Duterte should do whatever he can to save Dalquez from execution in UAE," Rep. De Jesus said.
"Circumstances like this should make President Duterte rethink the push for death penalty, as it weakens our grounds to save OFWs from the death row," she added.
Gabriela lawmakers Rep. De Jesus and Arlene Brosas were joined by Pangasinan Rep. Rosemarie Arenas when they filed House Resolution 829 Wednesday. They were also joined by the parents of Dalquez, members of Migrante, and other Makabayan bloc lawmakers.
"Huwag nating biguin si Jennifer at ang mga kababayan nating OFWs, na nangarap lamang ng magandang buhay at kinabukasan para sa kanilang mga pamilya. Huwag na natin idagdag si Jennifer sa bilang ng mga kababayan nating hinatulan ng kamatayan at umuwing malamig na bangkay," De Jesus said.
Dalquez was cleaning 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.
Brosas challenged President Duterte to make real his promises 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," Rep. Brosas said.
Arenas made a pitch for her bill to create a cabinet department for OFWS, so that they only have to deal with one government office for their concerns.
Dalquez's mother Alicia was also on hand to join the call for President Duterte to intervene.

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