DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 30 filed House Bill No. 7806 for the granting of Filipino citizenship to Australian Missionary Sister Patricia Fox.
The bill was introduced by Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate; ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio L. Tinio and France L. Castro; Gabriela Party-list Reps. Emmi A. De Jesus and Arlene D. Brosas; Anakpawis Rep. Ariel B. Casilao; and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane L. Elago.
Sister Pat has been in the headlines in the past weeks as the nun got the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The nun has been accused of meddling in political issues in the country.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has already decided to send the nun back to Australia but the camp of Sister Pat elevated her case to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for relief.
Last week, the progressive group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) joined the various groups in expressing full support to the cause of the Australian Missionary.
Section 1 of HB 7806 recognizes the more than three decades of stay of Sister Pat in the Philippines making it as the basis for the granting of Filipino citizenship.
In a statement on Wednesday, Elago described Sister Pat as “a role model for the youth,” and that she deserves the granting of citizenship for her invaluable work with the poor.
“Sr. Pat has been in the Philippines for 27 years. She chose to leave Australia after being inspired by the stories of struggles of peasants and indigenous peoples in the country. She has integrated and helped the poor and marginalized in immeasurable ways, and she deserves nothing less than to be recognized as a Filipino,” Elago said.
She also called on everyone to continue their support to Sister Pat and to strengthen the continuing call for justice to all victims of harassments, threats and extra-judicial killings under the “fascist administration of Duterte.”
“What is there to fear when the people are empowered and knowledgeable of the national political and economic situation? When you persecute those who do nothing but help the poor and oppressed, then you promote a culture of violence, selfishness, and egoism —three characteristics of an emerging dictator. This is not what Filipinos, especially the youth, are supposed to emulate,” Elago said. (davaotoday.com)