MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration reaffirmed its intention to deport an Australian missionary nun after earlier ordering her to leave the country.
The bureau Aug. 30 dismissed a motion for reconsideration filed by Sister Patricia Fox’s lawyers, saying it failed to raise new matters that could warrant the reversal of the expulsion order, ucanews.com reported.
Bureau spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval said Sister Fox has 30 days on receipt of the order before it can be considered final and executory.
In a statement, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, however, said the nun may not be immediately deported because the deportation order still can be subject to appeal.
He said the issue also could reach the courts should Sister Fox opt to file a petition after all administrative remedies before the executive branch are exhausted.
“Any adverse ruling from the (Justice Department or the Office of the President) may be reviewed by the courts,” Guevarra said.
The Bureau of Immigration earlier said Sister Fox, Philippine superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, had violated the limitations and conditions of her missionary visa. It cited photographs showing that she had taken part in various political activities since 2013.
In a statement, the bureau also said it had considered President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier statements that branded Sister Fox an undesirable alien for having joined political rallies.
“In fact, the president publicly admitted that it was upon his instructions to investigate Fox for disorderly conduct for participating in rallies,” the statement said.
In June, the Department of Justice said Sister Fox could continue to perform her duties as a missionary until her visa expired in September.
Sister Fox was arrested April 16 and detained overnight before an order to leave the country was issued. The Immigration Bureau later revoked Sister Fox’s missionary visa on April 23 for allegedly participating in partisan political activities.
Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon expressed disappointment over the latest decision, saying “it was ironic that this administration drives away a holy person while coddling drug lords.”
The prelate said the deportation order against Sister Fox confirms that the Duterte administration is harassing critics.
Bishop Bastes said the government considers the nun a threat because of her defending the rights of tribal people who are being driven off their lands.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103