Sr Patricia Fox wants clarification on Bishops’ MOA with government

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Sister Patricia Fox’s request for an extension of her missionary visa was denied last week.

She is now seeking clarification about the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) signed in June.

In a press release about the denial of the extension, the BI stated that Fox had spent 27 years in the country as a missionary.

The release stated that, following the MOA, foreign missionaries ordinarily stay in the country for only ten years.

Fox’s lawyers, however, said the agreement did not preclude the extension or renewal of a missionary visa for another ten years.

The bishops’ conference is supposed to endorse foreign missionaries, religious and lay people for their visa applications.

At a forum in Quezon City on 19 September, Fox said she thought it is an issue that the church has to look into.

Church leaders need to clarify the issue because it will affect foreign missionaries, she said.

Immigration officials arrested Fox on 16 April for supposedly “joining rallies.”

The next day, she was released for further investigation after it was discovered she had a valid missionary visa.

When rejecting her application for an extension, the BI cited the deportation order issued against her previously.

The BI said Fox had violated the conditions of her stay and is considered undesirable. That is why a deportation order had been issued against her.

“Our legal team believe that approving the extension of her missionary visa will be inconsistent with the findings cited in her deportation order,” said BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval.

Fox testified against the Duterte government before an international tribunal on 18 September, narrating the political persecution she believes she experienced.

Fox said she would appeal.

Source

News category: Asia Pacific.

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