- Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
- The Philippine immigration authority has ordered the deportation and blacklisting of an Australian nun who was investigated for her political activism per instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte.
- The authority said 71-year-old Sister Patricia Fox “poses a risk to public interest” and has been accused of violating the terms of her missionary visa.
- Fox served as a missionary in the Philippines for 27 years and advocates for human rights and welfare in the country.
- Fox’s lawyers said they plan to appeal the decision and will fight “this kind of persecution.”
The Philippine immigration authority has ordered the deportation and blacklisting of an Australian nun who was investigated, under instruction from President Rodrigo Duterte, for her political activism.
Sister Patricia Fox, 71, is to be deported because her presence in the country “poses a risk to public interest,” and she has been accused of violating the terms of her missionary visa by venturing beyond her suburban community, Associated Press reported.
- REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Fox has served as a missionary in the Philippines for 27 years, and is the coordinator of a congregation of nuns called Notre Dame de Sion. She has advocated for human rights and welfare in the country, and has joined in protests against Duterte and his government.
Fox’s lawyers said in a statement seen by AP that they would appeal to fight “this kind of persecution.”
“Helping the poor is not a risk to public interest, peace or order. In fact, the government must recognize her selfless service to the oppressed sectors of this society,” her lawyers said in a statement.
In April, Duterte personally ordered an investigation into Fox’s activities and claimed she was an an “undesirable foreigner.” Fox was taken from her home and detained by immigration services for nearly 24 hours, Reuters said.
Fox has defended her activism, and refuted claims she engaged in anti-government displays.
“I haven’t joined political rallies in terms of party politics, but I have been active in human rights issues,” Fox has said.
Duterte has been particularly sensitive to criticism over issues regarding human rights in the country. Rights groups have said his bloody war on drugs has killed over 12,000 people, and calls have been made for the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation.