The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has ordered the release of Australian Nun, Sister Patricia Fox, a missionary with the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion who allegedly has joined political rallies. This is almost 24 hours after she was arrested in her house in Quezon City. However, the BI said the 71-year old nun is still subject for further investigation.
“I approved the recommendation of the BI legal division headed by lawyer Arvin Cesar Santos that Fox be released for further investigation after it was established that the Australian nun holds a valid missionary visa and, thus, she is a properly documented alien.” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in the release document.
“In a two-page Note with Recommendation to Morente, Santos noted that while Fox was alleged to have taken part in protest actions by farmers in the past, she was not doing so at the time when BI operatives served her the mission order yesterday,” He added, with her release paper issued on Tuesday, at around 2:15 pm.
“Sr. Fox should undergo preliminary investigation to determine if deportation charges should be filed against her before the bureau’s board of commissioners.” Santos said, adding that Sister Fox’s passport and other immigration documents show that she was issued her missionary visa on October. 15, 2017, and her visa is valid until September 2018.
Fox, who according to the CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) has worked in the Philippines for 27 years, was apprehended on Monday at around 3 pm upon the order of BI Commissioner Morente, without specifying which political rallies Sister Fox have attended. She was detained at the BI intelligence division in Intramuros.
CBCP noted that Sr. Patricia Fox was also arrested and detained in 2013 after she joined protests in Hacienda Luisita, but was released without charges. The Catholic Conference added that the Australian nun recently joined an international fact-finding and solidarity mission in Mindanao, and that she is helping farmers and indigenous peoples.