BI ends Australian nun’s extended stay
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.”