President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed he threatened a total deployment ban of Filipino workers to the United Arab Emirates if the Gulf state pushed through with the execution of Jennifer Dalquez.
“I told them if you execute her, I tell you, I will immediately order the suspension of the deployment,” Duterte bared during the Cabinet meeting.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Belo III he earlier had told President Duterte the accusation against Dalquez, who was convicted by an Abu Dhabi court for allegedly killing her employer, does not add up.
“I had my doubts, Mr. President because when I saw her (Dalquez) I realized she is a small woman and her employer is as big as Lebron James. That’s why it’s hard to believe she was the one who killed him. She was set up to take the fall,” Bello said.
Bello said immediately after learning of the circumstances of Dalquez’s case, President Duterte told him to relay to concerned government officials in Abu Dhabi that “if they kill Dalquez, I will declare a total ban.”
Together with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Leo Cacdac, Bello traveled to Abu Dhabi to communicate the President’s message. Two months later Dalquez’ sentence was commuted from death to three years of imprisonment.
“She has barely started to serve the three years (sentence) when she was allowed to go free,” Bello said.