Fox asks BI to reconsider deportation order

MANILA The camp of Sr. Patricia Anne Fox on Monday filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) before the Bureau of Immigration (BI) asking to reconsider its decision to deport her for violating the provisions of her missionary visa.

Fox's counsel Sol Taule said their appeal is a reiteration of their earlier stand that the Australian nun did not violate the conditions of her missionary visa.

It's a reiteration of our arguments that she did not violate the terms of her missionary visa. Well within the constitutional international law of her rights to practice religion and freedom of expression, she said in an interview after filing the 25-page MR at the BI office in Manila.

Our position is that Sr. Pat did not do anything wrong, no crimes committed, she did not violate any law and there is no reason why she should not get a missionary visa. She is just protecting the rights of the people, Taule added.

Lawyer Katherine Panguban, another counsel for the Australian nun, noted that they are also questioning the part of the decision wherein the BI Board of Commissioners admitted that it was based on the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte that Fox is an undesirable alien by joining political rallies.

Actually what we are after is the part of the decision where they said that when the President already spoke about the deportation of Sister Pat since they are part of the present administration. They are using the doctrine of qualified political agency (they are supposedly the) alter ego of the President, she said.

Fox camp argued that the BI decision should be based on evidence and arguments of the parties and not on the pronouncement of Duterte.

In the Resolution, the Honorable Office has essentially stated that since the President has already spoken, the officials of the Honorable Office, under the doctrine of qualified political agency or alter ego principle, have to abide by the statement of the President. With due respect, that is wrong. To sanction that argument would be 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, part of the MR said.

Wherefore, premises considered, the Respondent respectfully moves that the Order dated 19 July 2018 be RECONSIDERED, the appeal added.

At the same time, Taule is hoping to have a fair trial at the BI, but, noting that they have remedies, in case they failed to get a favorable decision.

We are hoping (to get a fair trial) but otherwise, we are ready. We keep our spirits high. We can file a MR at the Department of Justice (DOJ), she added.

For his part, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra the deportation order issued against the 72-year-old nun last week was not immediately executory - especially after she filed a motion for reconsideration before the BI.

"The deportation order cannot be enforced until it becomes final. With the filing of the appeal, the deportation will not be executed," he said.

The DOJ chief explained that with Fox's filing of appeal before the bureau, the implementation of the deportation order has been suspended.

"If the BI denies Sister Fox's MR, the deportation order can still be subject to appeal to the DOJ or the Office of the President," he stressed.

Guevara further revealed that the issue could also reach the courts should Fox opt to file a petition after all administrative remedies before the executive branch are exhausted.

"Any adverse ruling of the DOJ or OP may further be reviewed by the courts," he added.

Last June 18, the DOJ granted Fox's petition for review which declared the BI's April 23 and May 17 rulings null and void for having been issued without legal basis.

It also reinstated her missionary visa without prejudice to the result of a separate cancellation or deportation proceedings. (With reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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