BI says deportation order against Fox ‘final and executory’Posted on
DAVAO CITY (July 21) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday ruled that the deportation order against Australian nun Patricia Anne Fox is final and executory within 30 days.
Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said order of the Board of Commissioners issued last Thursday, will be implemented within one month, based on the omnibus rules, unless the Missionary nun files an appeal.
Sandoval in an interview said “According to the omnibus rules, (the) order is final and executory within 30 days unless Motion for Reconsideration (MR) is filed.”
Sister Fox clearly violated the limitation and conditions of her visa, which specifically allowed her to engage in missionary and religious work, not political activities in the Philippines,” said Sandoval.
“She was found by the board to have actively participated in political activities, which she also admitted in her pleadings,” Sandoval stressed.
Sandoval added that reports received by the BI show that Fox attended different rallies holding banners and wearing shirts representing different leftist organization.
The BI ruled that political rallies and protests in collaboration with labor or cause-oriented groups are not within the ambit of the religious visa granted to Fox.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Fox’s lawyer Sol Taule in a press conference Friday said they will challenge the deportation, saying the decision is not yet final and executory.
Taule claimed the order of the BI sets a “very bad precedent” for foreign missionaries like her who also want to stand in solidarity with Filipinos.
Fox’s camp said they will file a motion for reconsideration at the BI on Monday, July 23.
The MR, according to Sandoval, should be filed before their agency, but she said it would be the decision Fox’s camp if they want to seek the help of higher office, if they feel that the BI will deny their appeal.
“It will depend on the MR and if they decide to elevate it to the higher office, we just follow what the Department of Justice (DOJ) orders us,” she added.
Sandoval clarified that there is no crackdown of foreign missionaries in the country.
“Sister Fox was found to have violated immigration laws. When foreigners violate our Immigration laws, the law must be applied and enforced, in the same manner that Filipinos must follow immigration laws when they are in another country,” she said. “We welcome the presence of foreign missionaries in the Philippines, but, as with any alien staying in our country, they must respect and follow our laws.”
The BI repeatedly stressed that “Foreign missionaries in the country must be actually, directly and exclusively engaged in religious work in the Philippines. They must not engage in partisan political activity or in any endeavor not consistent with their religious or missionary vocation,” and that aliens’ stay in the country is “but a mere privilege, and [they] should not be allowed to foment unrest and defiance.”
Once a deportation has been issued, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will submit a clearance to show that the person being deported “has no accountability in the country and “has no pending case in court”.
Fox’s name has since been included in the Bureau’s blacklist.-EZC/NewsLine.ph