71-year-old Aus­tralian nun ar­rested, de­tained

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! - Mmi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties have ar­rested a 71year-old Aus­tralian nun known to be a hu­man rights ad­vo­cate for "at­tend­ing protest ral­lies and en­gag­ing in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties". (MVI and KAC/SunS­tar Philip­pines)

ISis­ter Pa­tri­cia Fox, su­pe­rior of the Our Lady of Sion con­gre­ga­tion in the Philip­pines, was taken into cus­tody by im­mi­gra­tion agents at their mis­sion house in Que­zon City at around 2:00 p.m. Mon­day, April 16, the Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of the Philip­pines (CBCP) said in a state­ment.

Fox is be­ing de­tained at the Bu­reau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BI) in­tel­li­gence divi­sion in In­tra­muros, Manila, a BI state­ment con­firmed Tues­day, April 17.

The agency said Fox was ar­rested for vi­o­lat­ing the con­di­tions of her stay "by at­tend­ing protest ral­lies and en­gag­ing in po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties." Her ar­rest was based on a mis­sion or­der is­sued by Com­mis­sioner Jaime Morente.

The BI said Fox has al­ready ap­peared be­fore a Spe­cial In­quest Pros­e­cu­tor and was re­quired to sub­mit her pass­port for fur­ther ver­i­fi­ca­tion.

Fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dure, the pros­e­cu­tor will rec­om­mend whether to file charges against the nun or re­lease her for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Kalookan Bishop Emer­i­tus Deogra­cias Iñiguez vis­ited her Tues­day morn­ing, April 17, while ac­tivists staged a protest rally out­side the BI of­fice, the CBCP said in a se­ries of tweets.

The CBCP state­ment said the nun has “worked in the Philip­pines for 27 years help­ing farm­ers and indige­nous peo­ples.”

“She re­cently joined an in­ter­na­tional fact-find­ing and sol­i­dar­ity mis­sion that in­ves­ti­gated al­leged rights abuses against farm­ers and Lu­mad in Min­danao,” the group added.

Her ar­rest came on the heels of the de­por­ta­tion of an of­fi­cial of Party of Euro­pean So­cial­ists (PES), who had trav­eled to Cebu to at­tend the Ak­bayan Party-list Congress.

Gi­a­como Filibeck was handed a black­list or­der upon ar­rival at the Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port Sun­day, April 15, and re­fused en­try. He was shortly de­ported.

Read: EU party of­fi­cial de­nied en­try in Cebu; Palace de­fends move

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Me­nardo Gue­varra, in a sep­a­rate state­ment, said the case of Fox has noth­ing to do with her be­ing a nun or with the lat­ter's ad­vo­ca­cies. He said like other for­eign­ers, Fox has to abide by the im­mi­gra­tion laws.

Ac­cord­ing to the CBCP, Fox’s le­gal coun­sel Jobert Pahilga said his client faces de­por­ta­tion.

Pahilga said the BI will keep Fox’s pass­port pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Con­trib­uted Photo

In this photo posted on the CBCP web­site, Manila Aux­il­iary Bishop Brod­er­ick Pa­billo (2nd from right) prays over Sis­ter Pa­tri­cia Fox (2nd, L) at the Bu­reau of Im­mi­gra­tion of­fice, where she is de­tained.---

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