The Court of Appeals in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday deferred anew its decision on the case of Filipina death row inmate Jennifer Dalquez, according to pro-OFW group Migrante, citing its chapter in the UAE.
Migrante spokesperson Arman Hernando told GMA News Online that the hearing on Dalquez was moved to April 26 after the children of her victim failed to show up at the day's hearing.
"Sinasabi po nila (UAE chapter) na hindi na naman po natuloy ang pagbaba nung hatol kay Jennifer Dalquez sa kadahilanan po na hindi muling dumalo 'yung pamilya nung napatay ni Jennifer Dalquez at ini-reset po yung muling pagdinig sa kanyang kaso," Hernando said.
Under Islamic law, Dalquez, 30, may escape the death sentence if the victim's two children will not swear in the name of Allah that Dalquez killed their father and instead opt for the payment of blood money.
"Ngayon sana ipo-promulgate kung ano ang hatol nung judge tungkol sa kaso o yung Court of Appeals nila. Sa hatol po nga ay nakikita na meron na silang conviction kay Jennifer. Hinihintay lamang na mag-swear sa Quran [yung dalawang anak] para mapanghawakan ang hatol sa kanya," Hernando said.
GMA New Online has contacted Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Charles Jose for confirmation but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
Islamic law dictates that the victim's children must put their hand on the Quran and swear in court to uphold the court's decision to execute Dalquez, who was convicted for killing her employer who she said tried to rape her in May 2015.
Hernando said the postponement of the hearing would give the Philippine government more time to seek clemency for Dalquez as well as for the 80 other Filipinos languishing in death rows abroad.
"Pinaapela na po namin kay Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte na tingnan lahat ng mga kaso ng death row sa buong panig ng daigdig. 81 po sila ngayon na nangangailangan at nananawagan ng hustisya at paglaya," he said.
The group also expressed disappointment over presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella's statement that Duterte will not be able to bring home with him some Filipinos on death row in the Middle East where he is on a week-long, three-nation state visit.
"Nadismaya po kami nung narinig namin ito ilang oras matapos sabihin ni President Duterte na makakapag-uwi siya ng mga kababayan natin na nasa death row kasi hindi po ito yung inaasahan namin na magiging resulta ng kanyang pagpunta sa Saudi Arabia," Hernando said.
"Marami silang pwedeng pagusapan maliban sa trade relations at mga foreign relations ng bawat bansa. Isa sa mahalaga sana, substansyal na magiging kareresultahan nung kanilang mga pag-uusap ay yung usaping pagpoprotekta sa mga kababayan nating nasa bansa na 'yun," he added. —KBK, GMA News