Update: 10:19 Mid-East time
We are still verifying the reports if OFW Rhodora Guisinga, who was primarily accused of drug possession, will be freed today. While a confirmed report from our Migrante-UAE said Empleo & Jabate was pronounced not guilty for the charge as accessories to the crime. -John L.C. Monterona
The three Dubai-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) implicated in a drug-related case today received a 'not guilty' verdict from the Dubai court, according to the father of one of the OFWs.
"Good morning Sir. I was informed by my daughter Crizelda today during case hearing that they were found not guilty on the charge of illegal drugs possession and that they'll be freed," conveyed by Mr. Athelo Empleo, the Saudi-based OFW father of Crizelda Empleo, one of the accused, to Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.
On November 10, 2010, Dubai-based OFWs Crizelda Empleo with a friend, Jackielou Jabate, and housemate Rhodora Guisinga, were nabbed by Dubai police for alleged drug possession.
"While having a leisurely walk inside the mall, Guisinga told her two companions that she'll be going out. Without the knowledge of her two companions, she met a certain Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian, who handed her a plastic bag, when suddenly Dubai operatives apprehended them including my daughter Crizelda and Jackielou," Mr. Athelo narrated.
"What's in the plastic bag are pain relievers according to Guisinga," Mr. Empleo said when he had a talked to her daughter Crizelda over the phone sometime on November.
Monterona said the Empleo and Jabate families have sought assistance to Migrante-Middle East and its chapter in Dubai, UAE after their plea for legal assistance by hiring a local lawyer to defend them in court had been initially rejected by the PH consulate in Dubai.
"We and the families of the accused have campaigned hard and done lots of interfacing with the concerned PH consulate and DFA officials, requesting for providing a local-hired lawyer," Monterona added.
Monterona added that the accused OFWs were eventually given a lawyer by the PH consulate on May 10, the supposed date of promulgation. "The May 10 promulgation was suspended by the judge to give the accused OFWs time to file their manifestations and motions," Monterona added.
At around 9:00 a.m. (Dubai time) today, the judge declared that the 3 accused OFWs should be freed as there is no convincing evidence to implicate them on the charges.
"Mr. Athelo Empleo and Mrs. Gloria Jabate, father and mother of Crizelda and Jackielou, respectively, would like to convey their profuse thanks to Migrante-ME officers specifically Yuri Cipriano, Migrante-UAE chairperson who never failed to attend the hearings and officials who have helped their children gain their freedom from malicious and baseless accusations," Monterona added.
Monterona noted that it was not a surprised at all that there is no PH consulate staff attended the case promulgation today as they also failed to attend during previous case hearings.
"This is a clear victory for us, OFWs and their parents, who have campaigned hard to free them as we believed they are innocent, but have been victims of govt. neglect and circumstances," Monterona concluded.