BI ends Aus­tralian nun’s ex­tended stay

Manila Times - - Front Page - CATHER­INE A. MODESTO

THE Bureau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BI) has de­nied a plea to ex­tend Aus­tralian nun Pa­tri­cia Anne Fox’s mis­sion­ary visa, which ex­pired on Septem­ber 5.

The bureau said in a state­ment that it had de­clined the re­quest of 72-year-old Fox, the su­pe­rior of the Notre Dame De Sion, a con­gre­ga­tion of Catholic nuns, “due to her pend­ing de­por­ta­tion or­der.”

The de­nial was con­tained in a two-page or­der

signed on Thurs­day, but re­leased to the me­dia on Sun­day.

“Our le­gal team saw that ap­prov­ing the ex­ten­sion of her mis­sion­ary visa will

her de­por­ta­tion or­der,” BI spokesper­son Dana San­doval said in the state­ment.

“The BI al­ready saw that Sis­ter Fox vi­o­lated the con­di­tions of her stay and is con­sid­ered un­de­sir­able, hence a de­por­ta­tion or­der was pre­vi­ously is­sued against her,” she added.

San­doval said Fox, who the BI had ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing her visa priv­i­leges by al­legedly en­gag­ing in po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism, was re­quired within 15 days upon re­ceipt of the or­der to down­grade her visa to tourist visa.

A tourist visa is valid for 59 days, said San­doval.

The de­ci­sion came 28 days af­ter Fox filed for a visa ex­ten­sion.

Only 10 years al­lowed

The BI also noted that a mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment be­tween the bureau and the Catholic Bish­ops’ Con­fer­ence of the Philip­pines states that for­eign mis­sion­ar­ies could stay in the coun­try for only 10 years.

Fox has worked in the coun­try for 27 years.

Fox has pend­ing ap­peal be­fore the De­part­ment of Jus­tice (DoJ) since Septem­ber 3, hop­ing to nul­lify the BI’s July 19 de­por­ta­tion or­der against her.

San­doval said the BI was still await­ing the DoJ de­ci­sion be­fore start­ing

that it may grant Fox the tem­po­rary vis­i­tor’s visa “with­out prej­u­dice to the res­o­lu­tion of her ap­peal to the DoJ on her de­por­ta­tion.”

Fox’s camp has ac­cused the BI for “pre­judg­ing” the nun’s case, af­ter the Pres­i­dent or­dered her probe for sup­pos­edly dis­play­ing “dis­or­derly con­duct” and hav­ing a “foul mouth.”

The DoJ gave Fox a tem­po­rary re­prieve af­ter it re­versed the BI’s visa can­cel­la­tion or­der against her for “lack of le­gal ba­sis.”

On April 16, the BI de­tained Fox overnight at its fa­cil­ity for sup­pos­edly at­tend­ing

On April 23, BI’s Board of Com­mis­sion­ers or­dered the for­fei­ture of Fox’s mis­sion­ary visa and down­grade to tourist visa. It also is­sued a di­rec­tive to the nun to leave the coun­try­within30 days fromthere­ceiptofthe­o­rder. She filed a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion, but it was de­nied by the com­mis­sion­ers.

On May 25, Fox filed a pe­ti­tion for re­view against the bureau’s April 23rd or­der be­fore the DoJ.

Asked about the BI de­ci­sion on Fox, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. de­fended the bureau, say­ing “we’re com­ply­ing with le­gal pro­cesses.”

Pa­tri­cia Fox

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