Published: Monday 18 June, 2018

Sister Patricia Fox Stays in PH as DOJ Grants Appeal vs Visa Forfeiture But…

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has granted Sister Patricia Fox’s appeal against the Bureau of Immigration (BI) ruling. In a resolution released today, the DOJ said Sister Patricia Fox can stay in the Philippines. However, she is not out of the woods yet.

Sister Patricia Fox

Sister Patricia Fox can stay in the Philippines as a missionary, for now… (Inquirer photo/Jam Sta. Rosa)

According to the DOJ resolution, the visa forfeiture case handed down by the Bureau of Immigration was without basis as visa forfeiture is not within the powers of the immigration bureau. 

“Our existing immigration laws outline what the BI can do to foreigners and their papers—including visas—when they commit certain acts within Philippine territory,” said DOJ secretary Menardo Guevarra in the resolution. “What the BI did in this case is beyond what the law provides, that is why it has to be struck down.”

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The DOJ thus sent back Sister Patricia Fox’s case to the BI for it to hear the visa cancellation and the deportation cases against the nun. The BI, according to the DOJ, must hear if the evidence presented against Fox is enough to warrant a cancellation of her visa and subsequent deportation.

“The BI treated this as a case for visa forfeiture instead of one for visa cancellation. As a result, the Bureau has yet to decide whether the supposed actions of Fox do indeed justify the cancellation of her visa,” said the resolution.

“It would therefore be premature for us at the DOJ to decide that matter now. For that reason, we are returning this case to the BI for its proper disposition.”

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For now, Sister Patricia Fox can stay in the Philippines as a missionary.

“Until a final resolution of the visa cancellation and/or deportation proceedings is reached, or until the expiration of her missionary visa, whichever comes first, Sister Fox may continue to perform her duties as a missionary in the Philippines,” said the DOJ.





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