BI orders deportation of Aussie nun

MANILA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday ordered the deportation and inclusion in its blacklist of missionary nun Patricia Anne Fox, barring her from re-entering the Philippines.

In a 10-page decision, the BI Board of Commissioners, headed by Commissioner Jaime Morente, said the Australian nun has violated the conditions of her missionary visa and for undesirability.

Wherefore, we find Fox Patricia Anne, Australian national, in violation of the limitations and conditions of Commonwealth Act (CA) 613, Section 9(g) missionary visa and undesirable under Act 2711, Section 69 and ORDER her deportation to Australia, subject to her submission of all appropriate clearances and the inclusion of her name in the BI's Blacklist, thus barring her re-entry into the country, the decision read.

The Bureau said Fox's 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 political activities, is contrary to the conditions laid down by said Orders and her representations when she applied for a missionary visa.

The BI was referring to the missionary visa it granted to Fox on Sept. 5, 2014 and was renewed on July 21, 2016, to render her religious and missionary works in Quezon City.

The decision also supported the ruling of its special prosecutor that charged Fox for being undesirable alien under Act 2711, Section 69 for engaging and openly participating in political activities in the country.

To our mind, her participation in these political rallies and protests in collaboration with labor or cause-oriented groups is not within the ambit of the religious missionary visa granted her. We find the messages posted in the banners such as 'Free All Political Prisoners'; 'to respect human rights'; 'resume peace talks'; 'to implement genuine agrarian reform'; 'to ban destructive mining'; 'to respect workers' security of tenure and provide them decent and humane wages'; or 'to protect the OFW' as undoubtedly dealing with political issues rather than purely religious or missionary concerns, the decision added.

Disappointed

Fox said she learned about the order from a text message from her lawyer, noting that she has not yet seen the order.

I haven't seen the order I just got the text from the lawyer I'm not sure of the details yet, she said in a telephone interview.

Fox just attended the 5th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCEN5) where she together with other participants conversed with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle held at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on Thursday.

She admitted that she was disappointed over the decision and will talk with her lawyers on what they will do next.

Well of course I'm disappointed but that's the order, and we'll look at what we can do about it, the 71-year old nun said.

Fox's lawyers said they will challenge before the Department of Justice (DOJ) the decision of the Bureau.

We'll file a motion for reconsideration. She is ordered deported and placed in watchlist. We are studying it now, said lawyer Sol Taule of the National Union of People's Lawyers, counsel for Fox, in a telephone interview.

The deportation case against her stemmed for her active participation in political rallies.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque urged Fox to follow and respect the deportation order.

Thats the law. Dura lex sed lex (the law is harsh, but it is the law), Roque said in a text message to Palace reporters. (With reports from Jelly Musico/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency