Duterte hits critics, says BI order on Fox case signed by De Lima

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Saturday reminded critics slamming the Bureau of Immigration (BI) order to expel Australian nun Patricia Fox from the Philippines for allegedly violating the terms of her visa, that the government was simply following an order signed during the previous administration.

Hindi ko ni-revoke yan. Sabi ko, hayaan diyan, balang araw magamit natin (I didn't revoke it. I said, let's leave it there, we'll be able to use it in the future), Duterte said referring to Operations Order no. SBM 2015-025 approved by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in July 2015.

Under the said order, "foreign tourists are prohibited from engaging in a political activity as defined by law and jurisprudence, such as but not limited to, joining, supporting, contributing or involving themselves in whatever manner in any rally, assembly or gathering, whether for or against the government."

Duterte made this statement before the Filipino community in Singapore during the sidelines of the 32nd ASEAN Leaders' Meeting.

Kung sumali ka doon sa protesta, mga political rallies, ide-deport ka. Kaninong order yan? 'Di ko man tinanggal 'yan. Ang aking kaibigan nasa loob ng presuhan, si de Lima (If you join protests, political rallies, you'll be deported. Whose order was that? I didn't revoke it. It's the order of my friend who is now in jail, de Lima), Duterte said.

De Lima was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017 due to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

That is the irony of life. Kung kayong gumawa okay lang. Kung kami ngayon masama. Kaya naisip ko (If you do it, it's okay. If we do it, we're bad. That's why I thought) I will not revoke that order, it stands there, he added.

Last April 25, the BI ordered Fox to leave the country after it cancelled her missionary visa due to her involvement in partisan political activities.

She (Fox) was found to have engaged in activities that are not allowed under the terms and conditions of her visa, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

The bureau has given Fox a month to leave the country upon receipt of the decision and ordered the deactivation of her alien certificate registration.

Fox's missionary visa is due to expire on Sept. 5, 2018.

We direct Fox to leave the Philippines within 30 days from receipt of this order, the decision added.

BI, however, said that Fox may still enter the country as a tourist. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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