DFA: OFW acquitted of murder in Saudi Arabia returns home
Photo released by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Sept. 22, 2020, shows OFW Rose Policarpio who is back in the Philippines after being acquitted of murder in Saudi Arabia.

DFA: OFW acquitted of murder in Saudi Arabia returns home

(Philstar.com) - September 23, 2020 - 5:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — After being acquitted of murder, an overseas Filipino worker who was once on death row in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is back in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Tuesday. 

Rose Policarpio was 31 years old when she was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2013 to work as a food server, DFA said. 

"Few days after her arrival in Riyadh, she was imprisoned for murder after being accused of killing her lady employer," the agency added.

Policarpio was previously charged with the murder of her employer, a Lebanese doctor who was killed in June 2013. She denied the allegation, adding the assailants attempted to rape her.

What followed was a six-year legal battle which eventually led to her aquittal. 

"The DFA, through its Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) quickly provided and paid for the services of her legal counsel. OFW Policarpio, in her quest for justice, had consistently denied the crime and insisted on her innocence," DFA said. 

"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," the agency added. 

While working on her case, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh regularly visited Policarpio in jail and provided her with welfare assistance, the foreign affairs department said. 

"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," DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said. 

"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 [countrymen] wherever they are in the world,” she added. 

The agency said that after securing Policarpio's release, they also settled her incurred immigration penalties and secured her exit visa.

"The [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 COVID-19 emergency health protocols are complied with," it said. 

— Bella Perez-Rubio with a report from The STAR

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