BI orders Australian nun to leave the Philippines
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) denied an petition from Sister Patricia Fox to extend her temporary visitor's visa and ordered her to leave Saturday.
BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said the bureau denied with finality Fox’s request to extend her stay in the country in an order dated October 31. The Australian nun is set to leave at 9 pm.
“For now, she is required to exit the country before the expiry of her visa. She is also currently in the blacklist,” Sandoval said. She added the BI has to “wait for the decision of the Department of Justice on her deportation” to know if she can still return to the Philippines
The Australian nun had been the subject of a deportation order last July for violating conditions of her stay and for undesirability, due to her participation in political activities, which she has not denied.
“These activities do not fall within the ambit of the religious missionary visa given to her,” said Sandoval. “She never represented her congregation in these events, but instead represented different cause-oriented groups.”
Before she left the Philippines, Fox urged Filipinos to unite and bring genuine reforms.
“The big challenge is not to lose hope, to know that if we all move together, we can bring about change,” she said in a press conference at the St. Joseph College in Quezon City after a thanksgiving mass by her supporters.
“I think that's the challenge, all the sectors, the church. Everybody needs to come out together and say this is what we want for our society,” said Fox.
Fox said she doesn't know why President Rodrigo Duterte wants her out of the country, where she has stayed for 27 years.
She urged Duterte to listen to ordinary folks and not just businessmen and hear their sentiments against the government.
Fox said she will miss the resilience of Filipinos to rise from tragedies. “I have learned resilience, to struggle and learn hope from the people here,” Fox said. DMS