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Philippines orders deportation of 71-year-old nun

A 71-year-old Australian nun was ordered to leave the Philippines on Thursday after years of angering the government ...

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 6:00 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 6:00 PM

A 71-year-old Australian nun was ordered to leave the Philippines on Thursday after years of angering the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sister Patricia Anne Fox is charged with violating the terms of her missionary visa by openly engaging in political activities throughout the country, according to the state-run Philippine New Agency (PNA).

The Bureau of Immigration's order cites evidence of Fox urging the release of political prisoners and actively supporting labor groups.

"Well of course I'm disappointed but that's the order, and we'll look at what we can do about it," Fox told PNA on Thursday.

The elderly Catholic nun has long been targeted by authorities since Duterte ordered a probe into her activities in the Philippines. Fox was first taken into custody in April by immigration officers who downgraded her status in the country to a temporary visitor's visa.

"Those in the Philippines are here because of our consent for them to be here. But they are not allowed to engage in any political activity," Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. told reporters in April when asked about Fox.

In June, the Department of Justice granted Fox an appeal, which reinstated her missionary visa and allowed her to stay in the country while deportation proceedings continued, PNA reported.

'A risk to the public interest'

The Bureau of Immigration's deportation order released Thursday states Fox "poses a risk to the public interest" and lists several political activities in which Fox allegedly partook.

The charges include participating in a rally against Duterte's extension of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao, which was first enacted after ISIS-affiliated Islamist groups stormed the city of Marawi in May 2017.

Fox was also included in the Bureau of Immigration's 'blacklist,' which bars her from re-entry into the country, according to PNA.

"That's the law. The law is harsh, but it is the law," Roque also told reporters on Thursday, according to PNA.

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