MALACAÑANG yesterday made it clear foreigners who will join pro-government rallies will also be deported but denied there is a crackdown on foreign activists like Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox who was briefly detained by the Bureau of Immigration.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) order banning partisan political activity by foreigners does not distinguish whether one is a supporter or a critic.
“That would still be applied [to foreigners joining pro-government rallies] because it does not distinguish. The law does not distinguish [and] enforcement agencies should not. As I said it might seem harsh but such is the law,” Roque said at a press briefing.
“Wala pong crackdown. ‘Yan lang po ang batas,” he said.
On Monday, immigration agents arrested the 71-year-old Fox at her home in Quezon City for alleged “illegal political activities” in the country. She was released after her lawyer presented a valid missionary visa and her passport.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that it was he who ordered Fox investigated for supposedly disorderly conduct.
Fox has been in the country for 26 years, working with groups looking after the interests of peasants and indigenous peoples.
Duterte said that it was up to him—not Congress nor the Supreme Court—who would be allowed into the country and who would be made to leave.
- Published in Top Stories