Fox free to stay, for now

By Rey Panaligan

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said Australian nun Patricia Fox may still stay in the country while her plea for the extension of her missionary visa is pending and despite the order of deportation issued against her by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Guevarra explained: “She applied for renewal of her missionary visa. Until the BI acts on this application, she may stay in the country.”

On BI’s deportation order, he said: “It will have to await the DOJ’s resolution on the appeal.”

He said the issue on extension of visa and appeal of the deportation order are intertwined.

The decision of the BI to extend or not to extend her missionary visa is “without prejudice to the resolution of her deportation appeal,” he said.

Thus, Guevarra stressed that while Fox’s missionary visa may be extended, she could not stay in the country should the DOJ affirm the BI’s deportation order against her.

However, he said, the issue on Fox’s deportation may still be elevated before the courts after the exhaustion of all administrative remedies.

“Any adverse ruling of the DOJ on the deportation order may still be submitted for judicial review,” he added.
Fox sought the issuance of another missionary visa after it expired last September 5.

It was last month when the BI ordered her deportation and her inclusion in the government’s blacklist.