Palace belies claim that Aussie Nun never spoke in protests

Published April 20, 2018, 3:41 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang belied the claims of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox never spoke in protest actions.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing in Malacañang Friday afternoon, presented photos showing the 71-year-old nun holding a microphone during a rally early this month.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque presents a photo of Sister Patricia Fox speaking at a rally, during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque presents a photo of Sister Patricia Fox speaking at a rally, during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday.
(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I heard the CBCP say that Sister Fox, although she attends rallies, has not spoken in rallies. Well, I now have a picture and this is taken April 9 in a rally organized by KMU and Gabriela partylist in front of Coca-Cola Davao City distribution center in Ulas, Davao City,” Roque said.

The talk about the Australian missionary came after the Bureau of Immigration arrested her 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.

On Wednesday, President Duterte took responsibility for the incident, admitting and clarifying that his order was to investigate Fox, not arrest her.

“I ordered her to be investigated, not deported at once, not arrested, but invite her to an investigation for a disorderly conduct,” Duterte said.

Read more: Duterte admits ordering probe on Australian nun

However, Malacañang said that Duterte is only implementing laws that foreigners should not participate in protest actions, whether it be for or against the government, and added that there is no crackdown on foreign critics of the administration.

“Hindi po yan crackdown! Talagang ‘yan po ang batas. Sabi ko nga po (That is not a crackdown! That is just the law. As I said), dura lex, sed lex. The law may be harsh, but such is the law,” Roque earlier said, citing Operations Order no. SBM 2015-025 signed by then Immigration chief Sigfried Mison and approved by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), meanwhile, urged the government to observe the rule of law regarding Fox’s case, saying it is the government’s mandate to promote and protect human rights of every person in the Philippines.

“Even foreign nationals are granted the right to peaceful assembly so long as they do not interfere with national security, public safety, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others,” the CHR said in a statement.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2496811,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2918827,2918824,2918830,2918811,2918795,2918800]