The Bureau of Immigration has confirmed the deportation and blacklisting of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox.
In its 10-page order issued today (Thursday, July 19), the BI said Fox violated “the limitations and conditions in granting the missionary visa…and order her deportation to Australia, subject to her submission of all appropriate clearances.”
The BI found the nun to be an “undesirable alien” and ordered the inclusion of her name in the BI’s Blacklist — which bars her from ever returning to the Philippines.
Sister Patricia started her missionary work in the Philippines in 1990 and has followed her vocation in various roles throughout the country.
In 2014, she was granted a missionary visa valid for two years, or until September 5, 2016. This was then extended to September 5, 2018.
However, in April this year, Intelligence Agent Melody Penelope B Gonzales recommended the cancellation of her visa because of her alleged participation in protest rallies, fact-finding missions, jail visits and involving herself in political activities.
The BI said Sister Patricia’s missionary visa was supposed to be solely for missionary work within her community in Quezon City.
“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,” the BI’s ruling said.
The BI said that assuming that her actions were part of her missionary work, it should have been specifically mentioned in her visa application.
Sister Patricia has been publicly criticised by President Duterte, who described her as “foul mouthed” and backed her deportation. He also admitted that he had personally ordered the initial investigation into her activities.
“By such declaration, the president has exercised his plenary power to expel or deport an alien for being undesirable granted to him under the Administrative Code. The power to deport aliens is lodged in the President of the Republic of the Philippines,” the BI’s order said.
“Well of course, I’m disappointed, but that’s the order, and we’ll look at what we can do about it,” Fox told reporters in a telephone interview today.
Asked if she will appeal the order, she said: “That was the plan. I’ll talk to the lawyers tomorrow, probably.”
Lawyer Maria Sol Taule, one of Sister Fox’s legal counsels, said: “Of course, we’re dismayed because we articulated our position in our counter affidavit and memorandum on the deportation case.
“Sister Pat did not engage in political activities. She is doing her missionary work here. Again, we will exhaust all remedies available to us.”
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