MANILA – Australian nun Patricia Fox bade farewell to the Philippines in a public event on Saturday after she was denied a visa extension by the government due to her alleged involvement in political activities.
The Bureau of Immigration had refused to extend Sister Fox’s permission to remain on Wednesday, and she was set to fly to Australia later on Saturday.
Fox, 72, is a Roman Catholic who has spent 27 years in the country as a missionary, said her only crime had been defending human rights, adding that she might return after President Rodrigo Duterte, who has publicly supported her deportation, ends his term in office.
Duterte, who has been accused of approving thousands of extra-judicial killings, attacked Fox by saying she has been involved in partisan politics.
She told hundreds of friends and followers who had gathered that her actions followed the teachings of the church.
The immigration bureau had withdrawn Fox’s visa in April for her alleged involvement in political activities and ordered her deportation, a decision which she has appealed, with the case pending with the department of justice.
On April 16, she was arrested by immigration officials after returning from a fact-finding visit to the Mindanao island to investigate the alleged rights abuse committed there under martial law.
Fox, mother superior of the Philippines mission of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, was set to fly to Melbourne at 9:10 pm while her name had been added to an immigration blacklist to prevent her return.