Philippines affirms deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' Bureau of Immigration (BI) affirmed its earlier deportation of Sister Patricia Fox after it denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the Australian missionary nun.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed it on Wednesday, August 29.
Fox's lawyer Sol Taule said they would elevate it to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and file an appeal there. The Bureau of Immigration is under the DOJ.
A deportation order will force Fox to leave the country and bar her from ever returning to the Philippines again.
What are Fox's options? After the DOJ, Guevarra said Fox can still take it up with the courts, which will allow her to stay a little longer here.
"Any adverse ruling of the DOJ or the Office of the President (OP) may further be reviewed by the courts," Guevarra said.
However, Fox will be running into a problem on September 5, when her missionary visa expires.
It was Guevarra who earlier granted Fox a reprieve, but only in terms of voiding the cancelation of her visa for lack of a legal basis. The BI issued a deportation order afterwards.
Why is she being deported? Fox was deported for supposedly violating the terms of her visa, when she participated in protests and fact-finding missions.
These activities were supposedly political in nature which Fox as a foreigner does not have the privilege to participate in.
Fox, in her defense, said that the activities are part of her missionary work, for which she was given a visa for.
Fox’s camp has insisted that the nun’s participation in dialogues with the farmers, indigenous people, and the poor is part of her religious work.
Fox came on the radar of the BI after President Rodrigo Duterte himself ordered her investigated.
"Ikaw madre (You nun), why don't you criticize your own government, the way you handled the refugees hungry and dying, and you turned them back to the open sea? Bakit hindi ka magyakyak doon (Why don't you rant there)?" said Duterte. – Rappler.com