Aussie nun’s camp lauds DOJ action on BI order appeal


MANILA — The camp of Australian nun, Sr. Patricia Fox, on Saturday hailed the immediate action taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on her appeal regarding the order of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) cancelling her missionary visa.

Fox’s legal counsel, Jobert Pahilga, said the order of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday, directing the BI to file its comment, was a sigh of relief for the camp.

“For one, it removes the anxiety and concern that she will be arrested anytime by the agents of the bureau similar to what they did last April 16, 2018,” the camp’s statement read.

“For another, the said Order has given her a ray of hope that her case will be justly and fairly reviewed and prays that the Bureau of Immigration’s April 23 Order will be reversed and set aside for utter lack of factual and legal basis,” it added.

On Friday, the day Fox filed her appeal, the DOJ issued an order directing its bureau to file its comment within a non-extendable period of 10 days from receipt.

Meanwhile, it gave the petitioner five days to reply to the bureau’s comment.

“In the said Order, the DOJ Secretary also stated that the Bureau’s Order, while immediately executory, is appealable to the DOJ and that the 30-day period given to Sister Pat to leave the country was stayed by the filing of the motion for reconsideration,” the statement read.

“Hence, according to Secretary Guevarra, Sister Pat has until June 18, 2018 to leave the country if the Bureau of Immigration’s order is to be implemented. The June 18 date, though, is not a deadline set by the DOJ for Sister Pat to leave the country but the supposed date that the bureau’s order should have become final and executory, as she has filed a motion for reconsideration five days after receipt thereof,” it added.

The nun’s camp noted that while the DOJ order is a “temporary victory”, they cannot afford to be complacent.

“While we maintain our guarded optimism and hope for a favorable ruling from the DOJ, Sr. Fox’s supporters, lawyers, and the people’s organizations providing her untiring support should not let their guards down but continue to assert and call for the government to stop the deportation of Sr. Fox,” they said.