Sister Patricia Fox to leave PH due to denied visa augmentation
Australian nun Patricia Fox will leave the country by November 3, her lawyers said Wednesday,
following the denial of their request for the extension of her downgraded visa.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) did not allow Fox
to stay in the country any longer. It earlier downgraded Fox’s missionary visa to a temporary visitor’s visa which expires on November 4.
“I understand that her request for extension of her TVV (temporary visitor’s visa) has been denied by the BI,”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who has supervision over the BI, said in a text message to reporters. The BI has yet to release a statement on its decision.
Fox’s lawyers said she is “compelled to leave under strong protest.”
“We will not allow the government to forcibly expel Sr. Fox out of the country given her stature as a respected
missionary nun and human rights defender neither will we give them the wicked pleasure of gloating over this injustice,” Fox’s legal counsel, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said in a statement.
Guevarra said the Justice Department will continue to study Fox’s appeal on the BI’s deportation order.
Reasonable inner voice
“Her voluntary departure, if true, is without prejudice to the resolution of her deportation case. If she wins, then her name will be removed from the blacklist,” Guevarra said.
The 71-year-old nun propelled into the spotlight when she arrested and detained in April for attending protest rallies. The BI said her participation violated the conditions of her stay, but her lawyers argue that fighting for the rights of minorities part of her missionary work. Fox’s camp also maintains the gatherings she attended not anti-government in nature.
“Sr. Fox will leave the Philippines with a reasonable inner voice that she has done nothing incorrectly and unlawful amid her 27 years of remain in the nation,” her legal advisors said.
They said Fox will keep on talking up for the privileges of the Filipinos and eyes an arrival to the nation after President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.
“She means to return the Philippines when President Duterte out of intensity and another administration more responsive of contradiction and who perceives preacher and human rights work is set up,” her legal counselors included.
Fox’s capture, and a move to relinquish her preacher visa, viewed as another crackdown on a difference from Duterte’s dubious organization. The President himself conceded that he behind the BI test on Fox, which prompted her one-day confinement for addressing.