By Rey Panaligan
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered Australian missionary nun Patricia Fox to file, through her lawyer, her memorandum within 30 days on her appeal to reconsider her deportation.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI), which granted on October 24 a temporary visitor’s visa to Sister Fox for 59 days, has also been ordered to file its memorandum.
Guevarra said that after the lapse of the 30-day period, the Department of Justice “will resolve Sister Fox’s appeal, with or without the memorandum.”
Earlier, Sister Fox through her lawyer filed a reply to the comment lodged by the BI on her petition for the DOJ to review her deportation case.
On September 3, Fox filed at the DOJ her petition for review against the BI’s July 19 deportation order which the bureau affirmed in an August 23 resolution.
The BI anchored its deportation order on the report of intelligence officer Melody Penelope Gonzales that Fox participated in rally in April in front of Coca-Cola’s Davao City distribution center.
In her petition for review, Fox told the DOJ”
“The petitioner maintains that she did not violate the terms and conditions of her missionary visa since the documents submitted by the Bureau of Immigration, through Agent Gonzales, did not show that the petitioner was engaged in anti-government activities but are consistent with her missionary work of promoting peace, social justice and human rights; that, therefore, would not make her an undesirable alien for her work was much desired by the people she served—the farmers, the indigenous people, the workers, the poor and the marginalized.”
She pointed out that her previous acts were part of her freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
“To reiterate, when the petitioner joins rallies and fact-finding missions and similar activities, she is not violating the law. She is merely exercising her right, and she can do so whether the same is part of her missionary work or not, since such right is guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. She is afforded the same protection enjoyed by Filipino citizens,” she added.