Guevarra on nullifying BI order on Sister Fox: ‘I followed the rule of law’
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was only following President Rodrigo Duterte’s instruction when he nullified the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) order forfeiting the Missionary’s visa of Australian missionary nun Patricia Fox.
The President has criticized Fox for participating in protest rallies against the government and even admitted ordering an investigation against her.
After an investigation, the BI forfeited Fox’ visa and ordered her to leave the country within 30 days.
Fox took the case before the Department of Justice (DOJ) which reversed the findings of the BI.
“Forfeiture has no legal framework in the law,” Guevarra said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“Hindi mo makikita doon [You cannot find it there] (Immigration Law) or in the implementing rules and regulations…Forfeiture is something [that is] non-existent as far as the law is concerned. It is something like a shortcut,” he added.
When asked if he is going against the directive of President Duterte, Guevarra said “the instruction for me is to follow the rule of law and that is what I did.”
Besides, he said the BI will still have to continue with Fox’s case by treating it as a visa cancellation with reception of evidence and hearings to be conducted.
“As to the final outcome [on Fox’s case] we do not know that as yet,” he said.
He earlier said that findings of the BI on the case of Sister Fox are again appealable to the DOJ or the Office of the President. /muf
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