Binay hits Immigration Bureau over arrest of 71-yr-old nun
Senator Nancy Binay slammed the Bureau Immigration (BI) on Tuesday for overreacting and using “excessive authority” when its agents arrested a 71-year old Australian missionary for allegedly meddling in local politics.
“Apparently, the Bureau of Immigration used excessive authority in connection with the arrest of Sister Patricia, and has acted on a mistaken perception plucked from an imaginary threat. Ang tanong eh ‘how can a 71-year old nun be a threat to society?’” Binay said in a statement, referring to Australian nun Patricia Fox.
“How can an Australian religious person be as outlawed as those Chinese syndicates in the country involved in drugs, gambling and prostitution?” said Binay, chair of the Senate committee on social justice.
Fox, superior of Our Lady of Sion, a Catholic religious congregation, was arrested by Immigration agents on Monday, on orders of Commissioner Jaime Morente. She has been living in the Philippines for 27 years as a lay missionary and has been active in human rights fact-finding missions in Mindanao.
READ: Immigration agents arrest elderly Australian nun
“Sister Patricia has been helping farmers, lumads and those in the marginalized sectors of society. Pano naging krimen ang pagtulong sa kapwa? What threat does preaching the Word of God pose to society? Siguro ang kailangan pagtuunan ng pansin ng BI eh yung mga illegal aliens na nagpapasok ng droga, yung mga involved sa human smuggling at child pornography at yung nasa terror list ng AFP,” Binay said.
The BI, she said, “clearly overreacted on something that is not of clear and present danger.”
“What pose as threats to people and society are drugs, terrorism and sex offenders,” Binay said, “Being a Christian nation, we welcome foreign observers and religious missionaries to stay in the country as long as they complied with existing laws.”
The senator then reminded the BI of its mandate, which she said should never be used as a “political tool.”
“It is BI’s mandate to secure the country against foreigners whose presence may be deemed threats to national security. Its powers is for the public good and should never be used as a political tool,” Binay said. /cbb
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