Immigration bureau orders release of Australian nun
17 April, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Wade Massey
"If the government is threatened by a 71-year-old nun, there is something really wrong with the government".
The BI earlier justified the arrest of Fox by saying that she had violated the conditions of her stay in the country by attending protest rallies and engaging in political activities.
Sister Patricia Fox was taken from her home and brought to the immigration bureau in Manila for questioning and could be deported.
Who is Sister Patricia Fox?
She is the superior of the Notre Dame de Sion in the Philippines, a congregation of Catholic nuns.
'The immigration bureau has not said anything on what to do with my missionary visa'.
Fox has been working with farmers and indigenous peoples in the country for almost three decades.
It is understood Sister Fox had recently joined an worldwide fact-finding and solidarity mission in Mindanao, an island in the Philippines. In 2013, she was also detained for joining protests in Hacienda Luisita but was released without charges.
Secretary-General Renato Reyes from left-wing group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan "New Patriotic Alliance" (Bayan) said Sister Fox "has always been in the Philippines helping the poorest of the poor".
Philippines justice secretary Menardo Guevarra said the arrest "has nothing to do with her being a nun, nor with her personal advocacies", according to a report by CNN.
The immigration bureau confirmed the Fox's arrest but declined to issue any statement until after the investigation is complete.
Sister Patricia Fox recently joined an worldwide fact-finding and solidarity mission in Mindanao.
From April 6 to 9, Fox participated in the International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in Mindanao that investigated various forms of rights abuses against farmers and lumad in the Southern, Northern and Caraga Region.
Philippine authorities detained an elderly Australian Catholic nun overnight in what civil rights groups alleged Tuesday was a crackdown on foreign critics of President Rodrigo Duterte's human rights record.
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law on Mindanao last May, after militants associated with the so-called Islamic State, stormed the city of Marawi. Immigration agents supposedly claimed that they were just verifying her papers. "People should realise the government has a tendency of being dictatorial", Pabillo said.
"Another photo shows that she was standing in a street wearing an Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (The Philippines agriculture union) T-Shirt. But there is nothing illegal with what Sister Pat did".
Reuters was unable to contact Sister Fox for comment. A CBCP spokesman said Sister Fox plans to return to Australia in May for a trip. "Sister Pat should be immediately released without conditions", she added.
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