DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBPC) said it hoped for a reconsideration on the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) expulsion order on Australian nun Sr. Patricia Fox.
In a statement released on Friday, CBCP President and Archbishop of Davao Romulo G. Valles said they are “saddened” on the BI’s decision to forfeit the visa of Sr. Fox, who served as a missionary for more than two decades in the Philippines.
“With a hope for a reconsideration regarding the BI’s order after giving Sr. Patricia a chance to explain herself again, in a spirit of dialogue, could she be given a chance to stay and continue serving our people?,” said Valles.
Valles clarified that all the information they get regarding the status of Fox’s case came from the media and they still trying to get information from the nun’s community.
“The situation certainly involves legalities – the authorities have said that she has been found to have violated certain laws of our land. On the other hand, it is reported that her lawyer would first file a motion for reconsideration before the Bureau of Immigration to dispute the finding,” said Valles.
The CBCP maintained that it is for the authorities to decide but they believe in the “sincerity and dedication” of Fox in serving the Filipino people.
“We believe further she is moved to serve our people by the love of Christ,” Valles added.
The BI earlier detained the 71-year-old nun for investigation but was later released after nearly 24 hours.
President Rodrigo Duterte later admitted he ordered the BI to probe on Fox’s “disorderly conduct” for criticizing the government.
On Wednesday, April 23, BI commissioner Jaime Morente bared that the agency’s board of commissioners decided to forfeit the missionary visa of Fox over her alleged involvement in partisan politics.
Fox was ordered to leave the country within 30 days from receipt of the order.
Upon learning about the BI’s order, Fox said in a statement that she appeals she will be given a chance to explain her side hoping the decision can be reconsidered.
“Whatever happens, I will be forever grateful to all those Filipinos that I call my friends and for all those from both church and sectors who have supported me through this time. I may lose my right to be in the Philippines, but I can never lose the learnings and beautiful memories,” the Catholic nun added. (davaotoday.com)