Immigration denies Aussie nun’s appeal to continue missionary work in PH

Australian missionary Patricia Fox attends a solidarity gathering for Moros June 19 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea/Bulatlat)

“Although expected, we are still appalled at how the BI just technically resolved the issue.”

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Australian nun Sr. Patricia Anne Fox, upholding its earlier decision to cancel her missionary visa.

The three-page decision, dated Aug. 23, insisted that Fox “violated the conditions and limitations of her stay as a non-immigrant and for being an undesirable alien as the same were supported by photographs, documents, and admissions.”

“Although expected, we are still appalled at how the BI just technically resolved the issue,” Sr. Fox’s lawyer Maria Sol Taule told Bulatlat.

Read: Immigration bureau orders Aussie nun to leave the Philippines

Sr. Fox has been in the Philippines for nearly three decades, serving the poorest of the poor such as landless peasants and urban poor families facing demolition of their homes.

Her battle against her deportation and now the cancellation of her missionary visa began when she was arrested in her home in Quezon City back on April 16, which was followed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that he had personally ordered the nun’s arrest whom he described as “foul-mouthed.”

Read: Immigration agents arrest Aussie nun active in human rights work in the Philippines

However, the BI, in its decision, said that Fox’s confirmation that she has indeed participated in protest actions in solidarity with various marginalized groups is “substantial enough to support a finding of a violation of the limitation or condition of her missionary visa and undesirability.”

Sr. Fox, in previous interviews, has long maintained that her solidarity with marginalized groups are but part of her missionary work.

Taule said it is very clear that the complaint was “lodged to harass Sr. Pat and her work as a missionary nun.”

She added that an appeal will be filed before the Department of Justice. ()

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