Never say die: Aussie nun Fox appeals anew against deportation

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Australian nun Patricia Anne Fox on Friday asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to let her stay in the country.

“Sr. Patricia (Pat) Fox today appealed to the Department of Justice to let her stay in the country. She will file an appeal to the DOJ to reverse a deportation order against her by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) after it denied the nun’s motion for reconsideration (MR) on this on August 23,” Nadja de Vera, media officer of the Solidarity with the Poor, said in a statement.

The Solidarity with the Poor is one of the non-government organizations that is helping Fox with her legal woes regarding her stay in the Philippines.

The foreigner also appealed to the DOJ not to prejudge her case.

At the same time, Fox asked the justice department to clarify her legal status since her missionary visa would expire on September 5.

“She applied for an extension (of validitiy) of her visa on August 20 at the BI,” de Vera added.

With this, she noted that the missionary nun would exhaust all legal remedies that she is entitled to.

“Besides appealing to the DOJ, she would also appeal up to the Supreme Court if the need arises,” the Solidarity with the Poor official said.

“She is determined to continue her missionary work among the poor and the oppressed, not on the narrow and misleading definition of the BI on what this constitutes. She is cherished and loved by those that she serves, which ironically this government finds offensive,” she added.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday said Fox could still apply for a tourist visa to prolong her stay in the country.

She is set to file before the DOJ on September 3 her appeal to the BI’s deportation order.

However, the BI has already issued a resolution last August 23 which affirmed its July 19 deportation order against Fox.

Guevarra said should the DOJ or the Office of the President (OP) deny her appeal she can have her missionary visa downgraded to a tourist visa.

“May be downgraded to a tourist visa only, for a limited period, subject to the outcome of any further proceedings on the deportation issue,” he told reporters.

In its order, the BI said the nun is an “undesirable alien for allegedly participating in political activities in the Philippines.”

Fox can stay in the Philippines until her deportation case has been resolved with finality. (With reports from Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)