“I have surely seen the affliction of my people … and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters.
I know their sufferings and I have come down to deliver them…” Exodus 3:7-8 (ESV)
Jennifer Dalquez, like many migrant workers, left the Philippines to seek a better life for her family, yet her very own life now hangs in the balance in the United Arab Emirates. She was arrested on December 12, 2014 for murder and was sentenced to death. Her case is on appeal. The promulgation of the decision was postponed to March 27 this year.
Jennifer, in defense of her life, dignity and honor, was charged with murder after she killed her employer who attacked and attempted to rape her.
Jennifer Dalquez bears the face of millions of Filipino women abroad. Unable to find a decent paying job here, she, together with million others, took the gamble to be away from family and home so that there would be food at their table; so that her children can go to school; so that she and her family can live a life of dignity.
The heritage of our Christian faith reminds us of the Hebrew slaves who groaned under their masters and cried out to the Lord. These prayers did not fall on silent ears but caused God to send a messenger to proclaim freedom and to lead the people towards freedom. Like Moses, our forefather in the faith, we claim freedom and life in the face of irreparable harm and loss of life.
Together we stand in solidarity with Jennifer Dalquez and support her and her family through our prayers.
Together we call upon the authorities in the United Arab Emirates to re-examine her plea of self-defense and to overturn their conviction of death penalty for Jennifer.
Together we call upon the Philippine government to protect vulnerable migrant workers from becoming victims of assault and abuse at the hands of their employers.
Together let us seek and work for justice till the day comes when workers do not have to sacrifice, leaving family and home to experience life in all its fullness.
For the United Church of Christ in the Philippines,
BISHOP REUEL NORMAN O. MARIGZA
March 6, 2017
Please click on the link for the downloadable copy of the statement; Save the Life of Jennifer Dalquez