Lawyer respects Duterte’s prerogative to order probe of Sister Fox
The camp of Sister Patricia Fox said they respect the prerogative of President Rodrigo Duterte to have her investigated by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
“If that is the case, that is his prerogative. We respect his prerogative,” lawyer Jobert Pahilga, counsel for Sister Fox, told reporters via phone patch on Wednesday after Duterte made the admission in a speech at Camp Aguinaldo.
“Wala kami magawa kung siya talaga,” Pahilga said. “That is the prerogative of the President, being the President.”
Duterte, during his speech at the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said that he had ordered the BI to investigate Sister Fox for her alleged “disorderly conduct.”
The Chief Executive, however, clarified that he only wanted to have her probed, not deported nor arrested.
“I ordered her to be investigated – not deported at once, not arrested – for disorderly conduct,” Duterte said. “I take full responsibility, legal and otherwise for this incident.”
However, Duterte said the Australian missionary has a “foul mouth.”
“Wag mong papasukin kasi madumi ang bunganga ng madreng ’yan. You don‘t have the right to criticize me,” he said.
With Duterte’s admission, Pahilga said that “there is no more need for him to issue an order to investigate Sister Pat because there is already an on-going investigation being conducted by the BI. Hindi pa naman tapos.”
“We will just prove that Sister Pat did not commit any disorderly conduct that would make her an undesirable alien through the investigation in the [immigration bureau],” the lawyer said.
Likewise, Pahilga maintained that his client should not have been arrested by BI agents.
“May right ang Immigration to issue mission orders. The problem is the matter of implementation,” Pahilga said.
“Dapat hindi muna inaresto si Sister Pat. Dapat nagkaroon muna ng clarificatory questioning and investigation, kasi at the time of her arrest, wala naman siyang ginagawa na crime,” he said.
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