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Palace tells Fox: Blame De Lima for deportation order

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By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox should blame Sen. Leila de Lima for her looming deportation.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) uphold its deportation against the 71-year-old nun.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
(YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We’re according her all the remedies provided by law to appeal the decision. I understand she has 30 days or so to appeal again to the DOJ (Department of Justice),” Roque said Friday.

“At pagkatapos na ma-exhaust lahat ng remedies, at kapag hindi nabago ang desisyon (If the decision of the BI stands even after all remedies have been exhausted), she will be deported.

The Palace official then warned all foreigners in the country to follow the law at all times.

“Dura lex, sed lex. Mensahe sa mga dayuhan, ‘wag po kayong mamulitika habang kayo ay on temporary visa dito sa Pilipinas (Message to foreigners, do not engage in politics while you are on temporary visa in the Philippines),” Roque said.

Roque, meanwhile, said deportation order against Fox is not a personal attack on the nun. He said President Duterte is just implementing the law.

“Naku, ang basehan po na ginagamit ng ating President para siya ma-deport ay isang order na inissue ni dating (The Presiden’s basis for her deportation is the order issued by former) [Justice] Secretary Leila de Lima. Blame Leila de Lima for that issuance,” he said.

Roque was referring to Operations Order no. SBM 2015-025 signed by then Immigration chief Sigfried Mison and approved by De Lima when she was still Justice Secretary.

In April, Fox was arrested by the BI from a mission house in Quezon City Monday for participating in protest rallies. She was released the following day saying she was not caught in the act of participating in protests.

During his visit to Singapore in April this year, Duterte commended the operations order which forbids foreigners from participating in local political rallies approved by detained Sen. Leila de Lima.

In his speech in Singapore before the members of the Filipino community, Duterte said foreigners in the Philippines, and especially those who are not even in Philippine soil, have no right to criticize him or his government as they are not the ones giving government workers their salaries.

“I only ask: bakit Pilipino ka? ‘Pag Pilipino ka, you have every right na murahin ako kasi baka hindi ka talaga kuntento sa trabaho ko. Empleyado lang ako (Are you a Filipino? Because if you are, then you have every right to curse me because maybe you are not contented with my work. I am just your employee),” he said.

“Nakikiramay ka diyan sa mahirap, okay lang. Pero kung bastusin mo ang mga pulis, bastusin mo kung sino-sino sa gobyerno (You commiserate with the poor, then that’s fine. But if you disrespect the police or anyone in the government), you do not have that right. You behave,” he added.

Duterte said that according to the law, foreigners who join rallies in the Philippines, whether for or against the government, could face deportation.

“Kaninong order ‘yan? Hindi ko man tinanggal. Ang aking kaibigan nasa loob ng presuhan si De Lima (Whose order is that? I did not revoke it. My friend who is inside the jail: De Lima,” Duterte said.

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