Palace backs BI forfeiture of Fox’s missionary visa

MANILAMalacanang on Wednesday supported the Bureau of Immigration (BI)'s order forfeiting the missionary visa of Australian nun Patricia Fox and asking her to leave the Philippines for engaging in political activities.

We stand by the BI's order to forfeit Sister Patricia Fox's privilege of holding a missionary visa and to leave the Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

Roque said revocation of Fox's visa went through the right process backed up by evidence, including a photo taken on April 9 in a rally organized by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Gabriela party list in Davao where the Australian nun was addressing the crowd.

Investigation has been conducted and was determined that the Australian missionary violated the terms and conditions of her visa. Consequently, the same must be forfeited, Roque, an international law expert, explained.

Per BI, this was a visa forfeiture order not a decision on the deportation case. We forfeited her privilege of holding a missionary visa because her activities were in violation of the terms and conditions of her visa, he added.

The BI on Wednesday cancelled Fox's visa, saying she was found to have engaged in activities not permitted under the terms and conditions of her visa.

The 71-year-old Australian missionary has been ordered to leave the Philippines within 30 days.

That's the consequence if you violate the terms and conditions of you visa. She has missionary visa and missionary work was defined to introduce your religion, get more faith believers, not to join political activities and because she violated the terms and conditions, she should leave the Philippines, Roque said in a television interview.

Roque said the revocation of Fox's missionary visa was based on a Commonwealth Act which prohibits foreigners from joining political rallies in favor or against the government.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said he ordered investigation on Fox for her alleged disorderly conduct.

Though her visa has been forfeited, Roque clarified the Australian nun can still go back to the Philippines as a 'tourist'.

Source: Philippine News Agency