x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Suspect in Filipina housemaid's murder to appear in Dubai court

The prime suspect in the murder of a Filipina housemaid is to appear in court on Monday, a year after the victim was killed.

DUBAI // The prime suspect in the murder of a Filipina housemaid is to appear in court on Monday, a year after the victim was killed.

Emma Angos Cambalon, 35, was found strangled and dumped next to a villa behind the Al Bustan Centre in Al Tawar on March 26 of last year.

The suspect, a 43-year-old Filipino driver identified by the Philippine consulate as ER, remains in custody. ER was involved in a relationship with Cambalon, and has confessed in court to his involvement in her killing.

At the first hearing on August 12, the defendant broke down and wept, telling the presiding judge Hamad Abdel Latif that he did not intend to kill Cambalon, because he loved her.

Prosecutors said ER choked Cambalon to death with either a cloth or a nylon string while she sat in the passenger seat of his car. "He said that the two had argued and he strangled her with his belt, then placed her in the car and dumped her after removing all identification," a CID lieutenant said.

A forensic specialist from Dubai Police told prosecutors that scratch marks on the victim's arms indicated that she struggled to fight her attacker while being choked. He said Cambalon died within minutes.

Lelita Pangilinan, an assistance to nationals officer at the Philippine consulate in Dubai, said the consulate was monitoring the case.

Mohammed Pukunum, the head of the assistance to nationals section at the consulate, attended a hearing on December 9. The case was adjourned when a policeman who was due to testify failed to appear, said Ms Pangilinan.

The consulate has not asked the government in Manila to provide a lawyer for ER. "We cannot take sides since the victim and the suspect are both Filipinos," Ms Pangilinan said.

Last July, Cambalon's body was sent home to the Philippines after Manila's foreign affairs department approved the funds for repatriation. The consulate arranged for the victim's estranged husband, Nelson, to receive her remains.

Ms Pangilinan said there had been talks about monetary compensation from the suspect's family. Cambalon's family had relied for financial support on the money she sent home each month.

Emma Angos Cambalon left four children in the Philippines - three daughters, aged eight, 12, and 15, and a son, Jade, aged 17.

rruiz@thenational.ae

* With additional reporting by Awad Mustafa