Fox got due process–Panelo

Sr. Patricia Fox was given a sendoff by friends before her departure on Saturday night, 4 November 2018. (Al Padilla photo)

Controversial nun Sister Partricia Fox flew out of the country Saturday night as Malacañang said she was given due process in her deportation case.

“Sister Fox was given due process of law. She underwent a legal process where she was given the opportunity to be heard. She availed of all remedies that she may stay in the Philippines but the BI (Bureau of Immigration) upheld the law and denied the request for the extension of her visa, which is set to expire tomorrow, November 4,” said
Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo on Saturday.

“The departure of Sister Patricia Fox is a timely reminder to all foreigners who stay or sojourn in this country that they are not entitled to all the rights and privileges granted to the citizens of the Philippines, including the absolute exercise of political rights inherently exclusive to Filipino citizens,” Panelo explained.

The restriction, he said, is spelled out in Operations Order No. SBM 2015-025 issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), approved by then Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima.

“We wish Sister Fox well in her travel and we thank her for whatever good deeds she has performed during her stay in the country. Such acts, however, cannot exempt her from the punishment imposed by law as a consequence of her wrongdoing. Dura lex sed lex. The law may be harsh but it is the law and obedience thereto excuses no one from compliance therewith,” he added.

Panelo said it is undeniable that Fox joined protest rallies.

“She has publicly acknowledged that joining these activities is part of her advocacy. Her participation, therefore, violated the conditions of her stay thereby mocking our laws, and abusing the hospitality extended to her by the host country,” said the presidential spokesman. “To say that Sister Fox is ‘compelled to leave under strong protest’ is, therefore, misleading as it is erroneous. Neither is there ‘injustice’ nor ‘silencing or threatening anyone from exercising the freedom of expression.’ Freedom of expression remains unbridled in this part of the world.”

The nun was detained last 16 April for being involved in illegal political activities

BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said those activities do not fall within the ambit of the religious missionary visa given to Fox.

“She never represented her congregation in these events, but instead represented different cause-oriented groups,” said Sandoval.

Fox was given a temporary visitor visa valid until 3 November only. She requested for an extension but it was denied.

“For now, she is required to exit the country before the expiry of her visa. She is also currently in the blacklist,” said Sandoval.

The BI spokesman added that Fox has to “wait for the decision of the Department of Justice (DoJ) on her deportation” to know if she can still return to the Philippines. The nun’s appeal against the deportation order from the BI is pending before the DoJ.

Panelo advised Fox to follow the law whether here or elsewhere.

“Otherwise, the law of cause and effect will operate against her, as it did in this particular instance,” he said.

Before Fox’s flight to Melbourne, Australia, the Catholic church held a farewell Mass for her. Raymart T. Lolo

p: wjg

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