Australian nun appeals Philippines deportation order

Patricia Fox on July 20. Source: AAP

The lawyer for Australian nun Patricia Fox says the order for her deportation from the Philippines sets a bad precedent, and they will appeal the decision.

Australian nun Patricia Fox has announced that she would appeal against a deportation order issued against her by the Philippine government a day earlier over allegations of involvement in political activities against the country's president.

Fox's lawyer Sol Taule said that the appeal would be filed on Monday and added that the order issued by the Bureau of Immigration set a bad precedent.

"We're seeing the start of this trend under President (Rodrigo) Duterte's government, to deport anyone who is doing good. What is wrong with standing for human rights?" Taule said at a press conference.

Australian nun Patricia Fox holds a press conference in Quezon City, east of Manila.
Australian nun Patricia Fox holds a press conference in Quezon City, east of Manila.

The bureau said on Thursday that Fox, 71, violated the conditions of her missionary visa by taking part in political activities, according to the expulsion order posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The immigration officials said that allowing Fox to participate in political activities "would open the floodgates for other aliens unbridled right to criticise government by joining rallies to the detriment of public peace and order."

Fox is the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and has been working as a missionary in the Philippines for the last 27 years.

She was arrested on April 15 for participating in a protest against the government.

The nun has openly criticised the violent anti-drug campaign launched by Duterte which has left thousands of people dead in police operations.

Ten days after Fox's arrest, the bureau withdrew her visa and gave her one month to leave the country.

She appealed against the order and the Department of Justice upheld the challenge on June 18 and allowed her to remain in the country temporarily.

Philippine Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the confiscation of Fox's visa did not have a legal basis but warned that a deportation process was in progress.

Earlier this month the Philippines deported three Methodist missionaries, Tawanda Chandiwana of Zimbabwe, Miracle Osman of Malwai and Adam Thomas Shaw of the United States over alleged links to left-wing political groups.

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