Para wala nang isyu! Makabayan bloc seeks Filipino citizenship for Aussie nun

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Lawmakers from the militant Makabayan bloc are seeking to grant Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox Filipino citizenship as her deportation from the country looms.

“Granting Filipino citizenship to Sister Patricia Ann Fox would be much more than a fitting recognition for her selfless service to the poor and oppressed Filipinos. It is a response to the call of many farmers, fisherfolks, and indigenous people whose lives were touched and helped by Sister Pat,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate in a statement.

House Bill No. 7806, filed Wednesday (May 30) by Zarate, ACT Teachers’ party-list Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela party-list Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao and Kabataan party-list Sarah Jane Elago, seeks Filipino citizenship for Fox through a grant by Congress.

The bill noted that Fox “lived with and served the Filipino farmers” for 27 years and has “come to understand, experience and embrace the culture and the struggle of the poor Filipino majority.”

“Not only that she speaks their language, Sr. Pat was accepted by the Filipino communities and was treated as one of their own because she lives and struggles with them,” read the bill’s explanatory note.

Fox had been earlier ordered to leave the Philippines by May 25 after her missionary visa was revoked on accusations of involvement in local politics.

The missionary nun filed an appeal with the Department of Justice, with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra extending her stay until June 18.

Members of the Makabayan bloc, however, said they are trying to find all possible legal tracks to thwart Fox’s deportation.

“Sa bahagi ng Makabayan, isang track ito na mabigyan ng citizenship dahil ‘yung track record ni Sister Pat eh malinaw naman kung sino ang kanyang pinaglingkuran sa 27 years na nandito siya,” Casilao said.

House records show that so far, 22 bills seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to foreign nationals have been filed in the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress, with bills seeking Filipino citizenship for Bruce Donald McTavish, Mayleen Ting, Father Julian Mazana, Philip Leach and Kwok Hing Carlos Yeung passing on final reading.