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BI orders deportation of Aussie nun

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 07:02 AM July 20, 2018

Australian missionary Patricia Fox during press conference in Quezon City. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has ordered the deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox after finding substantial evidence that she violated the terms of her missionary visa.

It has also found Sister Fox an undesirable alien and ordered the inclusion of Fox’s name on its blacklist. Her blacklisting will bar Fox from returning to the Philippines.

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President Duterte ordered Fox investigated after she had been reported taking part in political activities against the government.

Malacañang backed the BI decision to deport Fox.

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“That’s the law. Dura lex sed lex (The law is harsh, but it’s the law),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Sought for comment, Fox said she had yet to see the order, although she had already been informed by her lawyers about it.

“Of course, I’m disappointed but that’s the order, and we’ll look at what we can do about it,” she said.

According to the BI resolution released on Thursday, Fox was granted a missionary visa on July 21, 2016, which was valid until Sept. 5, 2018, and limited for work in Barangay Amihan, Quezon City.

“However, Fox engaged and interfered in political activities from north (Tarlac) to south (South Cotabato) of the Philippines. She works outside of her community,” the bureau said.

“Fox violated the limitation and condition of her missionary visa, which allowed her to engage in missionary/religious work, not political activities in the Philippines. Her presence in the country poses risk to public interest,” it said.

‘Admitted’ activities

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“Clearly, Fox’s active participation in political rallies, fact-finding missions and conferences in various areas of the country, as admitted by Fox herself in her memorandum and as shown by photographs of her in these political activities, is contrary to the conditions laid down by the said orders and her representation when she applied for a missionary visa,” it added.

The bureau explained that Fox’s attendance and participation in protests, fact-finding missions and press conferences that tackle human rights issues against the government, and sponsored by labor or cause-oriented groups are evidently beyond the “nature” or authorized duties and responsibilities for which she was assigned as a missionary worker as represented by her congregation and approved by the BI.

The BI said Fox was seen holding banners or wearing shirts representing Karapatan, Uma, Pamalakaya, Amihan, KMP/Anakpawis as if she were a member of those organizations.

“At no instance did she participate in these activities wearing a shirt or holding a banner which would indicate that she represents The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion as part of her missionary work,” the BI said.

“Hence, to allow respondent Fox to participate in political rallies or activities would open the floodgates for other aliens unbridled right to criticize [the] government by joining rallies to the detriment of public peace and order,” it said. —WITH A REPORT FROM CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO

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TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, deportation order, Philippine news updates, Sister Patricia Fox
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