The Court of Appeals in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, once again deferred its decision on the execution of Filipina domestic helper Jennifer Dalquez after her victim's two sons skipped Wednesday's hearing.
Citing information from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the absence of the victim's sons in the day's hearing prompted Dalquez's legal counsel to move for her acquittal.
Dalquez, 30, was sentenced to death in May 2015 for stabbing her employer who was allegedly trying to rape her. The incident, which resulted in her employer's death, occurred in December 2014.
Under Islamic law, Dalquez may escape the death sentence if the victim's two children will not swear in the name of Allah that she killed their father and instead opt for the payment of blood money.
Palace seeks prayers
As this developed, Abella asked Filipinos to pray for the acquittal of Dalquez after the relatives of her said victim failed to appear in court.
"Our prayers have again been answered," Abella said in a statement. "Let us continue praying for the acquittal of Ms Dalquez and her return to the Philippines as we expect judgment to be rendered on May 24."
He stressed that the Philippine government "is doing everything to provide help for Ms. Dalquez."
"The Department of Foreign Affairs is in touch with her family and continues to facilitate legal assistance," Abella said.
Earlier in the day, Dalquez's parents went to Malacañang to ask President Rodrigo Duterte to appeal for clemency for all the 81 OFWs on death row overseas.
They were received by Duterte's adviser on OFW concerns, Secretary Abdullah Mamao. —KBK, GMA News