MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday, May 23rd, denied the appeal of Australian nun Patricia Fox to reinstall her missionary visa, prepping the way for her ratified departure from the country.
“This order is final and executory. We will not entertain any further motion for reconsideration,” according to Jaime Morente, chairman of the BI’s Board of Commissioners.
Last month, exactly 30-days ago, the immigration department has directed the 71-year-old nun’s missionary visa forfeited. It was still about to expire on September 5, 2018. The executory order by the bureau included her deportation by the end of this month.
In a three-page order inked on May 17, Morente denied with finality Fox’s motion for reconsideration on her missionary visa cancellation over alleged “disorderly conduct.”
“This order is final and executory. We will not entertain any further Motion for Reconsideration,” the statement read. It also commanded the nullification of her alien certificate of registration.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque approved the Bureau of Immigration’s final resolution.
“We respect the decision of the Bureau of Immigration. That’s the law. Dura lex sed lex (it is harsh, but it is the law),” Roque said.
In a press statement, Fox’s lawyer Robert Pahilga said that his client would file an appeal on the aforementioned order before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Under the BI Rules, once an appeal is filed, the BI order cancelling one’s visa should not be considered executory. Sister Pat thus expects and hopes that the BI will abide by its rules of procedure, not arrest or forcibly deport her, give her the opportunity to appeal it to the DOJ and let the latter decide on her appeal,” Pahilga said.
Attorney Pahilga further said that Fox was just exercising her freedom of expression and advocating the protection of the rights of the poor and needy people.
“They are consistent and in accordance with her mission and the charism of the Sister of our Lady of Sion to promote peace, social justice, and human rights,” Pahilga added.
Meanwhile, Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval — on the other hand — said the legal complaint for deportation over Fox for engaging in political activities remains unresolved, as it is unrelated from her visa forfeiture.
Moreover, Sandoval added Fox could still come back to the Philippines as a tourist visitor as she is not blacklisted.
The immigration bureau also terminated the Australian nun’s claim of lack of due process and that there was no enough evidences to allegations that she participated in any political activities.
Fox was indicted of engaging in partisan political activities, a prohibited act for immigrants under the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. Government authorities said Fox was spotted in a mass rally arranged and organized by Kilusang Mayo Uno and Gabriela at the Coca-Cola distribution center in Davao City on April 9.
The Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte admitted on April 18 that he ordered the investigation on Fox, which led to her temporary arrest for inquiry regarding the incident. Duterte said Fox’s apparent remarks against the Philippine government constitute a “violation of sovereignty.” — Centrio News.