DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The renewed deportation order of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) against Australian nun Patricia Fox is more political than legal.
This was the statement made by Solidarity with the Poor Network in support of the submission of motion for reconsideration contesting the deportation order on Monday, July 23.
The network said the timing of the deportation order right before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte only confirmed the political character of the case.
On Thursday, July 19, the BI issued its 10-page resolution which said Fox violated “the limitations and conditions in granting the missionary visa”.
“To allow respondent Fox to participate in political rallies or activities would open floodgates for other aliens unbridled right to criticize government by joining rallies to the detriment of public peace and order,” the resolution said.
It further read, “Verily, there are other ways for foreigners to criticize government as part of their freedom of expression other than joining unruly rallies and protests.”
The BI also considered President Duterte’s statements that branded Fox as an undesirable alien by joining political rallies.
BI spokeswoman Dana Sandoval admitted that the president’s outburst against Sr. Fox that she is an undesirable alien was a factor in their decision.
In the motion, it said it is “wrong to state that decisions should be based on the public pronouncement of the President irrespective of the merits of the case and the arguments of the parties”.
The network emphasized that it is political because Duterte cannot tolerate any criticism.
“But to be more precise, it is political because the president cannot tolerate any criticism from a person who dared speak in solidarity of striking Coca Cola workers in his bailiwick in Davao City,” the network said.
The strike was violently dispersed on April 2 by the Davao police wherein 10 union members were subsequently arrested.
The Solidarity with the Poor Network is a “support network” launched by the church groups in the Philippines supporting the Australian missionary nun Patricia Fox who has been ordered to leave the country by the government.
It also aimed to unite faith-based organizations to protest against the Philippine government’s decision to expel the nun.
The network hoped that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would again give a favorable decision on Sr. Fox’ Motion for Reconsideration (MR).
Fox was allowed to stay for 30 more days because of the filing of the new MR and could stay a little longer as the bureau would evaluate and assess her motion. (davaotoday.com)