Aussie nun’s camp to challenge BI order

MANILAThe camp of Australian nun Patricia Anne Fox is ready to challenge the order of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for her to leave the country after her missionary visa has been cancelled.

Sister Pat (Fox) has the right to be heard even when she is a foreigner as everyone, Filipino citizen or not, is accorded that right by the Constitution especially since she was already admitted to the country and granted missionary visa, Fox's counsel Jobert Pahilga said in a statement Wednesday.

Sister Pat thus intends to challenge the order by filing a Motion for Reconsideration with the BI, he added.

Pahilga also maintained that Fox did not participate in partisan political events in the country.

She will also be filing her Counter-Affidavit to refute the allegations that she has engaged in partisan political activities, he said.

The State through the BI has no right to cancel her visa without giving her the opportunity to contest the report of the Intelligence Division and to be heard on her defense, Pahilga added.

With this, Fox's counsel admitted that they were surprised with the BI's order.

The BI order came as a surprise to us considering that it was only yesterday (Tuesday) that we received a memorandum from the Intelligence Division for Commissioner Jaime B. Morente with a Supplemental Report and Recommendation to cancel Sister Pat's missionary visa and deport her, he explained.

Pahilga said the allegation of Fox being an undesirable alien has no legal and factual basis, noting that the cancellation of her visa is a violation of the right to due process.

The order to cancel her visa was issued without due process of law and in violation of Commissioner Morente's order for Sister Pat to contest the charge within 10 days from receipt of the supplemental report of the Intelligence Division, Pahilga added.

On April 16, the 71-year-old nun was apprehended by BI operatives for being an undesirable alien for participating in political rallies, thus violating her stay in the country.

She, however, was released the next day.

Source: Philippine News Agency