MANILA – Rose Policarpio, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was once on death row for allegedly committing murder in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is finally home on Tuesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, made the preparations for her expected arrival in Manila where she will finally be reunited with her family once coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emergency health protocols are complied with.
“Ms. Policarpio’s eventual acquittal is an example of the government’s commitment in protecting and promoting the rights of our OFWs. With her new lease on life, we wish her success in her future endeavors,” said Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.
Policarpio, 31, was deployed as a food server in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Few days after her arrival in Riyadh, she was imprisoned for murder after being accused of killing her lady employer.
The DFA, through its Legal Assistance Fund quickly provided and paid for the services of her legal counsel.
Policarpio, in her quest for justice, had consistently denied the crime and insisted on her innocence. She was eventually found not guilty by the lower court, the verdict of which was sustained by the court of appeals, leading to her eventual release from detention and repatriation.
In her almost six years of legal battle, the DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, made strong representations and closely worked on the case of Policarpio.
The DFA’s timely legal assistance ensured that her rights are protected under Saudi laws. The Philippine Embassy also regularly visited her in jail and provided her with welfare assistance.
After securing her release, the DFA settled her incurred immigration penalties and secured her exit visa.
“This is a vindication of Ms. Policarpio and a clear declaration of her innocence. This is also a testament that the DFA and its people are willing to go the extra mile in order to protect and safeguard the rights of our kababayan wherever they are in the world,” Arriola said. (DFA PR)