Casilao, Elago slam order to revoke nun’s missionary visa
The Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) order to revoke Australian nun Patricia Fox’s missionary visa and compel her to leave the country was “unjust” and a “clear case of the Duterte administration’s crackdown” against peasant advocates, two lawmakers said on Wednesday.
“Sr. Pat Fox’s deportation threat is a clear case of the Duterte [administration’s] crackdown not only on dissent and critics but also against advocates who campaign for the welfare of poor Filipinos,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said in a statement.
The militant lawmaker also condemned the hasty decision of the Immigration Bureau to forfeit the 71-year-old’s privilege of holding a missionary visa because of her alleged participation in political and partisan activities.
“The decision was unjust and the element of crackdown is written all over it. Anakpawis condemns the immigration department as it became an instrument of the Duterte government to run after advocates like Sr. Pat Fox who for the past 27 years dedicated her life to helping the poor. Her only crime was her advocacy”, Casilao said.
For her part, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago saluted Fox for her “relentless service to the exploited and oppressed.”
Elago lamented that instead of going after the “big fish” criminals, it is people like Fox “who faces constant repression and tyranny from the ruthless dictator.”
“Duterte may crackdown on missionaries and supporters, but all he only does is strengthen the people’s unity and resistance against his dictatorship,” she added.
Why Fox is being ordered to leave
The BI earlier ordered Fox to leave the country within 30 after she received the copy of the order.
The agency also canceled her missionary visa despite its validity up to September 2018.
Last April 16, Fox was arrested and investigated by the BI. President Rodrigo m Duterte admitted that he “ordered the investigation” of Fox for “disorderly conduct,” citing her attendance in political rallies.
Fox, the superior of the Notre Dame de Sion Philippine Province, has been immersing herself in various peasants activities in the Philippines for 27 years.
Casilao has likewise urged the public to help protect the Australian nun and long-time human rights and genuine agrarian reform advocate from a looming deportation which he said was based “on questionable accusations and evidence.”
“The public should step up participation in the discourse by helping to expose the case of Sr. Pat Fox that her advocacy of helping the poor and marginalized was behind the attack against her right to stay in the Philippines to continue her missionary work,” he added./ac
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