BI orders release of Australian nun

Do not insult my country’ Duterte brands 71yo Aussie nun an ‘undesirable alien

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has ordered the release of Australian nun Patricia Fox after a day in detention.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said authorities on Sunday barred the entry of Giacomo Filibeck, the secretary-general of the Party of European Socialists (PES) of the European Union at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport on the island province of Cebu in the Visayas because he was included in the Bureau of Immigration watchlist for alleged illegal political activities.

Sister Patricia Fox, regional coordinator for the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, was taken to the immigration bureau in Manila and is expected to be deported from the country.

She has been doing missionary work, specifically among farmers and Lumad (indigenous peoples), in the Philippines for the past 27 years.

In a statement, the BI said that Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente "approved the recommendation of the BI legal division headed by lawyer Arvin Cesar Santos that Fox be released for further investigation after it was established that the Australian nun holds a valid missionary visa and, thus, she is a properly documented alien". "She is no criminal or undesirable alien".


The 71-year-old nun will undergo further investigation to determine whether deportation charges should be filed against her, the BI said.

The BI earlier justified the arrest of Fox by saying that she had violated the conditions of her stay in the country by attending protest rallies and engaging in political activities.

The missionary nun recently joined an worldwide fact-finding and solidarity mission that look into human rights abuses against farmers and Lumads in Mindanao.

"Sister Pat Fox is a long time human rights advocate, particularly for the rights of mostly poor and landless farmers in the country".

According to CBCP News, Fox had been detained in 2013 "for joining protests in Hacienda Luisita but was released without charges". They said her arrest was part of the government's crackdown against critics and human rights defenders.

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