DFA: Malaysia postpones execution of Filipino on death row

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 19) — The Malaysian government has postponed the execution of a Filipino convicted of murder, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

Following a last-minute appeal from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the DFA said the Malaysian state of Sabah postponed the execution of Ejah Bin Jaafar who was supposed to be executed on Friday.

"We would like to thank the Governor of Sabah (Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar bin Haji Mahiruddin) for responding to the repeated appeals of the Philippine Government on behalf of the family of Mr. Jaafar," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

The government has been calling on Malaysian authorities to spare Jaafar's life since 2015, Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose said.

The Sabah Pardons Board will meet in December to review Jaafar's case.

The DFA said they will continue to call for the commutation of Jaafar's sentence.

"The Department stands ready to provide any further assistance to Ejah bin Jaafar and his family," Cayetano said.

The Sandakan High Court found Jaafar guilty of murder in September 2006 and was sentenced to death in 2009, the DFA said. This decision was affirmed by Malaysia's Court of Appeals and Federal Court in 2011 and 2013.

Overseas Filipino workers who remain on death row in other countries include Mary Jane Veloso, sentenced to death in October 2010 after Indonesian authorities found her with 2.6 kilograms of heroin in her suitcase. Her date of execution was initially set in April 2015 but she was granted a last-minute reprieve.

In June, Jennifer Dalquez, a domestic helper in the UAE, was saved from death row in after being acquitted by the Court of Appeals in Al Ain of murdering her employer who attempted to rape her, the DFA said.

Early this year, however, Filipina Jakatia Pawa was executed in Kuwait, after being accused of killing her employer's 22-year-old daughter in May 2007.