OFW who escaped death row in Saudi Arabia now returns home

Rose Policarpio, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). Previously in Saudi Arabia, was on death row and her crime allegedly murdering her employer. Today she is finally home.

Through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), made the preparations for her expected arrival in Manila. She’s currently in quarantine following Covid-19 health protocols. Once completed, she will finally reunite with her family.

“Miss Policarpio’s eventual acquittal is an example of the government’s commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of our OFWs. “We wish her success in her future endeavors with her new lease of life,” said Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.

Her Imprisonment

In 2013, Policarpio, 31, worked as a food server in Saudi Arabia. Within a few days of arriving in Riyadh, she was imprisoned.

The DFA, through its Legal Assistance Fund quickly provided and paid for the services of her legal counsel.

Policarpio’s quest for justice had consistently denied the crime and insisted on her innocence, however, the lower court found her not guilty. So, the court of appeals sustained a similar verdict and it led to her eventual release from detention and repatriation.

In her almost six years of legal battle, through the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, made strong representations and closely worked on the case of Policarpio.

Even under Saudi laws, DFA’s legal assistance constantly ensured her rights. The Philippine Embassy visited her in jail regularly 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 DFA’s testament. 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.

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