Aussie nun's lawyer hopes gov't won't deport Fox when visa expires in Sept
The lawyer of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox expressed hope on Monday the Bureau of Immigration (BI) would not sit on the nun's deportation case and wait for the expiration of her visa in September.
Maria Sol G. Taule filed a memorandum before the BI asking the dropping of Fox's deportation case.
The memorandum stated that Fox did not violate the limitations and conditions of her missionary visa under the Commonwealth Act No. 613.
"Respondent is doing missionary work by helping the oppressed and the marginalized in the Philippines, which is neither a crime nor a ground for deportation pursuant to Sec. 37 of CA 613," it said.
Fox's lawyer also said that the Australian missionary "did not illegally engage and interfere in Philippine political activities."
Her alleged political activities are not political but are "consistent" with the mission as a religious missionary, and as such, within the ambit of the activities which she can undertake pursuant to her missionary visa, the memorandum added.
It also said Fox just exercised her right to freedom of speech and assembly, "a right universally recognized and accorded to all, regardless of citizenship."
In an interview at the sidelines of a forum in Manila, Taule raised concern that if the BI would not immediately act on their memorandum, it might "sit on it" and wait for the expiration of Fox's missionary visa on September 9.
"I'm hoping that (BI) will renew (my visa, otherwise), I don't have any choice except to be a TNT (Tago Nang Tago, always hiding), which I will not do," Fox told reporters.
Taule said if the BI would just wait for the expiration of Fox's visa, they would petition for its renewal.
Fox has been in the country for over two decades doing missionary works.
President Rodrigo Duterte has slammed Fox for allegedly joining in partisan political activity in the country.
He ordered the authorities to probe Fox, resulting to the move of the BI to work for the deportation of the nun. Celerina Monte/DMS