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Duterte threatened deployment ban if OFW in UAE executed: Bello

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PHILSTAR/JOVEN CAGANDE

By Arjay L. Balinbin Reporter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte would have declared a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) if its government pushed through with the execution of Jennifer Dalquez.

“Execute her. I am telling you, I will immediately order the suspension of the employment,” Mr. Duterte said in his remarks at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting in Malacañang.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said Ms. Dalquez “was a household service worker,” who was “accused of killing her employer.”

“She was convicted and was sentenced to die by hanging,” he added.

Mr. Bello narrated that when the President learned about Ms. Dalquez’s case, he was told, “’You tell the (emirs) that if they kill Dalquez, I will declare a total ban.’”

The Labor Secretary also said he was accompanied in Abu Dhabi by administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) to “relay” the President’s instruction.

“I said, the President respects your justice system but the President feels that if you hang his countrymen, then he will just declare a total deployment ban for the entire United Arab Emirates,” Mr. Bello said.

Ms. Dalquez returned to her home in General Santos City last week, Nov. 2, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“In her report to the Home Office, Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana said Dalquez expressed her profound gratitude to the Philippine Embassy for seeing to it that she would be able to return home and be reunited with her loved ones,” the DFA said in a statement.

“Dalquez is returning home three years after she was found guilty and sentenced to death by an Abu Dhabi court for stabbing to death her employer in 2014 after he threatened to kill the General Santos native for refusing to have sex with him. 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 on 25 October,” the DFA added.