Former Duterte ally, Makabayan bloc slam deportation order for Sister Fox
Former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano and other members of the Makabayan bloc have criticized the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) decision to strip Sister Patricia Fox of her missionary visa, forcing her to leave the country in 30 days.
“Dapat ibasura o iurong ang rekomendasyon for deportation, at igalang ang mga saligang karapatan ni Sister Pat,” Mariano, who used to work under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, said in an exclusive interview Wednedsay, during the rally held outside the BI office in Intramuros, Manila.
[The recommendation for deportation should be junked or withdrawn and the contitutional rights of Sister Pat should be respected.]
Rep. Antonio Tinio of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers said Malacañang’s accusations were bursts of outrage over the scrutiny of the current administration’s drug war.
He also wondered why Fox was apprehended only during Duterte’s tenure, considering that the Australian-born nun had been in the Philippines for 27 years.
“Pawang kabalbalan po ang pinapalaganap ngayon, whether ng Malacañang, si Duterte mismo, o ng mga tiga-Bureau of Immigration na may nilabag daw na batas si Sister Pat,” Tinio said.
[What’s being spread is pure nonsense – whether instigated by Malacañanag, Duterte himself, or those from the Bureau of Immigration – that Sister Pat allegedly broke a law.]
“Hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na siya ay lumahok sa mga rally, pero ngayon lamang siya na-single out,” Tinio added. “Kitang-kita natin, takot si Duterte sa nabubuong malawak na pagkakaisa ng mga mamamayan kontra sa extrajudicial killings.”
[It’s not the first time she has joined a rally, but it’s only now that she has been singled out. We can clearly see that Duterte is afraid of a unity stand forming among citizens against extrajudicial killings.]
Calls to respect human rights
Mariano also questioned the process of Fox’s arrest, saying that the interrogation was done under the guise of an invitation, leading to a gross violation of the right to due process.
“Pinuntahan nila sa missionary house. Pinapalabas nilang inimbitahan, pero tactical interrogation,” Mariano said.
[They went to the missionary house. They made it appear she was merely being invited, but it turned out be a tactical interrogation.]
Tinio, on the other hand, belied the claimed that a foreigner could not voice his or her beliefs in this country, citing the Article 19 of Universal Declaration on Human Rights which tackles the right to free speech.
“Kasama po sa batas mismo ng Pilipinas ang pagkilala sa civil and political rights ng mga dayuhan sa ating bansa,” Tinio claimed, referring to the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights, of which the Philippines was a signatory.
[It’s part of the laws of the Philippines to recognize civil and political rights of foreigns in our country.] /atm
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