BI orders deportation of Sister Fox
Updated (7:25 p.m.)
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has ordered the deportation of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox.
In its 10-page order issued Thursday, 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 her an “undesirable alien” and ordered the inclusion of her name in the BI’s Blacklist therefore barring her re-entry into the Philippines.
Fox started her missionary work in 1990. She has been assigned to do missionary work in various areas in the country – she was in Real, Quezon from 1990 to 1995, a staff of Justice and Peace Group of Prelature of Infanta from 1996 to 2000, a part of the aAMRSP-Rural Missionaries of the Philippines from 2001 to 2011, and a volunteer Agrarian Reform NGO and Congregational administrative tasks from 2011 to 2013.
In 2014, upon application of her Congregation and endorsement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), she was granted a pre-arranged employment (missionary) visa valid for two years or until Sept. 5, 2016. which was extended to Sept. 5, 2018.
However, on April 2018, Intelligence Agent Melody Penelope B. Gonzales recommended the cancellation of Fox’ visa because of her participation in protest rallies, fact-finding missions, jail visits and involving herself in gatherings against the government.
The BI said Fox’ missionary visa was supposed to be for missionary work in 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 ruling said.
The BI said that assuming that what Fox has been doing is part of her missionary work, it should have been specifically mentioned when her congregation filed an application on her behalf.
Fox has been the subject of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades, calling her “foul mouthed” and stating that she should be deported. The President even admitted that he was the one who ordered an investigation on Fox.
“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,” read the order.
One of Fox’ counsel, lawyer Maria Sol Taule said they will file a motion for reconsideration.
The deportation order was recommended by lawyer Marcela P. Malaluan of the Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) and concurred by Romaine G. Pascual (BSI hearing officer) and Gregorio G. Sadiasa (acting chief of BSI).
It was approved by the Board of Commissioners led by BI Chief Jaime Morente and members Marc Red. A. Marinas and J. Tobias M. Javier.
BI heard the deportation case after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra granted Fox’s petition to review her case, which nullified BI’s earlier forfeiture order of her missionary visa.
Guevarra instructed the BI to properly dispose the case and treat it as a deportation proceeding./ee
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