Philippines orders Australian nun deported and blacklisted

Patricia Fox center on May 25 2018

The Philippines' Bureau of Immigration has again ordered the deportation of an Australian missionary who has challenged her expulsion for allegedly participating in political activities.

The Bureau of Immigration order issued on Thursday also called for the inclusion of Sister Patricia Anne Fox in the agency's blacklist which would prohibit her from returning to the country.

In June, The Philippines Department of Justice nullified a previous order to deport the 71-year-old nun. She advocates for human rights and workers' welfare and has joined rallies against President Rodrigo Duterte and his government, which has been criticized for stifling dissent and for its brutal war on illegal drugs in which thousands of mostly poor suspects have died.

The Australian nun, who grew up in Melbourne and obtained a law degree at the University of NSW in Sydney, has been a missionary in the Philippines since 1990.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says Fox's deportation "is stayed pending appeal".

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The decision gave Ms Fox a reprieve but Mr Guevarra also ordered the immigration authorities to hear a case on her visa's cancellation along with pending deportation proceedings. On May 23, the bureau denied Fox's appeal.

"I'm disappointed but that's the order and we will look at what we can do about it", she said.

Thursday's order specifically referred to Duterte's admission that he had asked for Fox to be investigated.

"Helping the poor is not a risk to public interest, peace or order".

Duterte has been hypersensitive to criticisms especially by foreigners, who he says has no right to meddle in his country's domestic affairs.

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