Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros posed several questions after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) ordered to forfeit Sister Patricia Fox‘s privilege of holding a missionary visa and to leave the Philippines. She described the decision as “outrageous and unbelievable”.
“It is an act that promotes further the climate of impunity in the country rather than secures our sovereignty,” she added.
“Investigation has been conducted and was determined that the Australian missionary violated the terms and conditions of her visa. Consequently, the same must be forfeited,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. “Per BI, this was a visa forfeiture order not a decision on the deportation case. We forfeited her privilege of holding a missionary visa because of her activities which are in violation of the terms and conditions of her visa.”
Senator Hontiveros, in a released statement said, “is the Duterte government saying that the 71-year old Australian nun is more of a threat to the country than its Chinese ally that has repeatedly disregarded our sovereignty and occupied our territories in the West Philippine Sea?”
“We deport missionaries but allow China to continue its incursions unchallenged?” she added. “Is the Duterte government saying that Sister Patricia is more dangerous than alleged big-time druglord Peter Lim? So we deport nuns while we let known and self-confessed drug lords roam free?”
“Is the Duterte government saying that the country has more to fear from Sister Patricia than the police officers who murdered the Mayor of Albuera, and who the Senate unanimously concluded are guilty of extrajudicial killing?” she noted.
The senator also called on the Bureau of Immigration to review and overturn its decision to forfeit the missionary visa of Sister Patricia Fox and the order for her to leave the country.
“I would like to believe that the Philippines is still a country governed by democracy and political tolerance, and not ruled by impunity,” she said.