Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Fox’s departure was “a timely reminder” to foreigners in the country that they are not entitled to all the rights and privileges granted to Filipino citizens.
KJ Rosales/File
Palace maintains Sister Fox must follow the law
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has advised Australian missionary Patricia Fox to follow the law “whether here or elsewhere” and denied that the deportation proceedings against her were meant to silence government critics.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Fox’s departure was “a timely reminder” to foreigners in the country that they are not entitled to all the rights and privileges granted to Filipino citizens.

Panelo said the absolute exercise of political rights is “inherently exclusive” to Filipino citizens, as stated by an operations order issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in 2015.

“Undeniable is the fact that Sister Fox joined protest rallies. She has publicly acknowledged that joining these activities is part of her advocacy. Her participation therefore violated the conditions of her stay, thereby mocking our laws and abusing the hospitality extended to her by the host country,” he said in a statement last Saturday.

“Our advice to Sister Fox is to follow the law whether here or elsewhere. Otherwise, the law of cause and effect will operate against her, as it did in this particular instance,” he added.

Panelo said Fox would not be exempted from the law even if she did good deeds during her stay in the Philippines.

“We wish Sister Fox well in her travel and we thank her for whatever good deeds she has performed during her stay in the country. Such acts, however, cannot exempt her from the punishment imposed by law as a consequence of her wrongdoing,” he said.

Fox left the Philippines for Australia last Saturday after fighting the Duterte administration’s effort to have her deported for almost six months. President Duterte has admitted ordering an investigation on the Australian nun, who joined a protest action in Davao City.

Critics have condemned the deportation proceedings against Fox, saying they reflected the President’s intolerance for dissent. Some members of the clergy have also described as unfair the labeling of Fox as an undesirable alien, noting that she has been working to promote the welfare of indigenous peoples in the country.

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION PATRICIA FOX
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