MANILAPresidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said he does not know whether President Rodrigo R. Duterte will reconsider or not the Bureau of Immigration (BI) order directing Australian nun Patricia Fox to leave the country.
I honestly do not know. But you know, it was Secretary (Leila) De Lima who made the law, who made the rule and the President is just implementing the rule approved by Secretary De Lima, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Roque was referring to Operations Order no. SBM ?2015-025 approved by De Lima, then Justice Secretary, in July 2015.
Under the said order, "foreign tourists are prohibited from engaging in a political activity as defined by law and jurisprudence, such as but not limited to, joining, supporting, contributing or involving themselves in whatever manner in any rally, assembly or gathering, whether for or against the government."
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier appealed to the BI to review its order and allow Fox to stay and continue her advocacies in the country.
In this recent development, we sincerely make an appeal that the authorities may make a reconsideration of their order for Sr. Patricia Fox to leave the country, said CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles in a statement issued Friday.
Without entering into the merits of both parties in the case, this is for the proper authorities to decide. But this we say: We believe in the sincerity and dedication of Sr. Patricia to serve our people. We believe further that she is moved to serve our people by the love of Christ. 'The love of Christ urges us,' he said, quoting a verse from the Holy Bible.
Roque, meanwhile, confirmed that Duterte will be meeting lawyers from San Beda tapped by the CBCP to speak to Duterte about Fox's case.
He said that Duterte's decision on whether to reconsider the order would depend on the outcome of the President's meeting with the lawyers.
We'll see because the San Beda people will be here in MalacaAang. If I'm not mistaken, day after tomorrow, Roque said.
Last April 25, the BI ordered Fox to leave the country after it cancelled her missionary visa due to her involvement in partisan political activities.
The bureau has given Fox a month to leave the country upon receipt of the decision. The BI also deactivated her alien certificate registration.
Fox's missionary visa will expire on Sept. 5, 2018.
Source: Philippine News Agency