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Sister of an Australian woman wrongly deporte -

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Sister of an Australian woman wrongly deported talks

Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES: Thanks for joining us. Can you first tell me how you felt when you learnt your sister
Vivian is alive, although as we learnt not at all well?

CICILE SOLON, SISTER: When we found out that she was located, well, my feelings were kind of mixed.
But, right now I can tell you that I'm relieved. That's all I can tell you right now because I need
to see her and then maybe I can explain how I feel about the whole thing. I just have to see Vivian
first, so I can't really say that I'm happy and I rejoice because at the back of my mind I still
feel that maybe she's not well, like what the media were telling me about. So, it's more like I
have reservations on how I feel, except that I'm relieved that she's alive and that she's now in
Olongapo, which tomorrow we're going to see her. I even do not know if she'll see us. It depends on
what kind of state of mind she's in.

TONY JONES: You haven't yet even been able to talk to her on the telephone, I believe.

CICILE SOLON: No, I spoke to Father Duffin earlier this afternoon and I requested him if I can
speak to my sister and he said, "It's not possible at that time." He told me, can I go there and
see her instead. I said, "Yes, we're just preparing and we'd definitely like to see her." But we're
not able...

TONY JONES: Did he explain...I am sorry.


TONY JONES: Did he explain why you weren't able to speak to her at the time? Was this to do with
her state of health, do you believe?

CICILE SOLON: No. I think it was something to do with the telephone patch in the place where the
Mother Theresa area is located. He told me something like, "The telephone cannot be used." Looks
like where Father Duffin is and where Vivian is are two different places. So that's the reason why
I wasn't able to...go ahead.

TONY JONES: What was Father Duffin able to tell you what about he had learnt from your sister?

CICILE SOLON: Well, actually, I asked him how she was because I heard earlier that he came to know
Vivian, that Vivian was being, you know, was being searched by some authorities because he saw it
on TV and then he said he was the one who called up Australia to tell them that Vivian is under
their care. Now, I ask him if she's mentally well and he said, "Yes. When I saw her, she's pretty
well. She's good. She can understand and comprehend what we are trying to tell her, except that
she's walking with a limp of some kind and she hardly could walk longer, can hardly stand." That's
what he told me. If she sits down, she cannot stand up immediately and then she walks like an old
lady. Her right arm is kind of twisted. She cannot write well, although she can print her name.
Aside from that, he told me something like she speaks slowly now and she doesn't walk around that
much, just stays in bed most of the time. Father Duffin, if I can recall, told me something like
she didn't have any therapy so that's maybe the reason why she cannot walk straight and she had to
walk with the aid of a walking stick.

TONY JONES: So she has had no therapy for the problems for the disability that she got during that
car accident before she was deported from Australia, is that what you are saying?

CICILE SOLON: That's right. That's right.

TONY JONES: Does that make you angry, thinking about that?

CICILE SOLON: I'm furious, but I cannot express my feeling right now. Maybe I can do this when I
see her. But right now I'm just relieved and if you're asking me how I feel about the whole thing
in the past, I can tell you that I was furious at the way Vivian's case was being handled. I just
feel that there was no compassion in handling her and if you forgive me of my statement, I just
feel there was some kind of racial discrimination because to my understanding she was apprehended
and three days after she was deported. I just feel that there was - they were not validating the
statement that she made perhaps to the police and trying to find out the records or exerting a more
conscious effort in trying to find out exactly the woman that they are trying to deport. I'm trying
to tell her...

TONY JONES: I'm sorry.


TONY JONES: Sorry to interrupt you again. Father Duffin has told us, and you just heard it there,
Australian officials before they sent her to the Philippines told her where they were going to send
her and he is saying he can't believe they didn't know where she was all of this time. How do you
feel about that statement of his?

CICILE SOLON: I have spoken about that, too. I was telling the press before that common sense
dictates. If you arrange for somebody to meet at the airport for Vivian, the best thing to do and
the first thing they would have done, is contact the charitable institution or the person they
arrange, made the arrangements with and nothing of this would have happened, like the charade of
looking around, the press telling people that she's missing and then the bad press she has a mental
illness and so on. I don't know what kind of game they're playing here, but really there was a
mistake somewhere. Even a grade schooler would understand that if you send somebody out and arrange
for it, the first thing you would do is find out, talk to the person, contact that person, and find
out if she's still there. But, looking for her and knowing her whereabouts really baffles me. I
don't know. It doesn't take a genius.

TONY JONES: Your half brother, Henry, in Sydney today has called for a royal commission of inquiry
in Australia into what has happened to Vivian. Do you know about that and do you believe, too,
there should be a public and open investigation?

CICILE SOLON: Sir, to me, personally, Vivian being located or found does not excuse or exonerate
anybody from what happened. There was a mistake. There was something, damage done. Maybe the damage
is done to her person. We don't know. We haven't seen her. She must be terribly affected. Something
must have done wrong with her. Maybe even her future is kind of vague at this time. Being located,
being found, does not exonerate anybody from answering as to what happened and the first place
there are questions like: Why was she deported in the first place? She was an Australian. There are
questions to be answered. Maybe it would only be Vivian who can ask these questions. Until then, I
can't say anything as to what actions I myself would do. But, at this moment, a public inquiry or
an investigation is welcome. I mean, there might be more Vivians to come if this kind of system
will not be corrected. I am not attacking anybody, but I guess we just have to straighten these
things out.

TONY JONES: Let me ask you one final question. You are seeing her tomorrow. Will you be advising
her to come back to Australia, to come back to see her children here?

CICILE SOLON: Frankly, at this point, I don't know because it depends on what kind of conversation
and what kind of mental, frame of mind she's in. Although, Father Duffin said she's okay, she is
normal, the press say otherwise. I need to see her and talk to her and then by then I will be able
to find out exactly her plans. It is not my plan. It should be her plans, as to what she wants to
do now she has been located. I am sure there must be some fears from Vivian because she must be
traumatised with what happened. So, I don't know. It's speculation that she may not want to go back
to Australia.

TONY JONES: Okay. Cecile Solon...

CICILE SOLON: We don't know.

TONY JONES: I'm sorry, Cecile. That's where we'll have to leave you. Thank you for taking the time
to come and talk to us tonight and good luck.

CICILE SOLON: You're welcome. Thank you very much.