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DOJ decision won't affect deportation proceedings vs Aussie nun-Roque.

Malacanang said Australian nun Patricia Fox is 'not yet off the hook' even if the Department of Justice (DOJ) nullified the Bureau of Immigration's (BI) orders to forfeit her missionary visa and to leave the Philippines within 30 days.

Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque Jr. said the DOJ decision only pertained to her missionary visa and that 'this is without prejudice to the decision of Commission on Immigration and Deportation (CID) on deportation proceedings.'

'The issue with the deportation proceedings is whether or not Sister Fox joined [political activities]. I will repeat, she is not yet of the hook, the deportation proceedings are still ongoing. Let us wait for the decision of the CID on whether or not Sister Fox joined [political activities],' Roque said.

Justice Seretary Menardo I. Guevarra issued on Monday a resolution striking down the order of the BI as 'what the BI did in this case is beyond what the law provides.'

Guevarra noted that under Philippine immigration laws, the BI cannot forfeit the visa of Sister Fox. Thus, the DOJ chief directed the BI to hear the visa cancellation case along with the deportation case against Fox, which is already pending with the bureau.

'Until a final resolution of the visa cancellation and/or deportation proceedings is reached, or until the expiration of her missionary visa, whichever comes first, Sister Fox may continue to perform her duties as a missionary in the Philippines,' he added.

According to BI chief Jaime H. Morente, Fox's missionary visa allows 'only the privilege to engage in missionary work and not in political activities.'

Fox's camp has since denied allegations, saying that the 71-year-old nun is a missionary involved in human rights and farmers' welfare initiatives.

In a speech last April, Mr. Duterte accused Fox of making critical remarks against the government.

The President has also taken 'full responsibility' for the temporary detention of Fox and admitted that he was the one who ordered the BI to investigate her.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jun 19, 2018
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