Australian nun freed after being held for 'political activities'

Australian missionary of Sisters of Sion arrested in Philippines

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday afternoon, April 17, released Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox after almost a day she was arrested.

Her detention came a day after Giacomo Filibeck, a Socialist Party official from the European Union who had criticised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal anti-drugs crackdown, was deported.

"Apparently, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) used excessive authority in connection with the arrest of Sister Patricia, and has acted on a mistaken perception plucked from an imaginary threat", Senator Nancy Binay said.

Santos said that Fox is not covered by inquest proceedings as this would only apply "to aliens arrested after being caught in flagrante violating immigration laws".

'We condemn her unjust detention and the deportation proceedings initiated against her, ' Renato Reyes secretary-general of the leftist Bayan (Nation) movement, said.

"She is no criminal or undesirable alien. She extended help to the Hacienda Luisita, Negros and Mindanao farm workers on their land cultivation campaign", they said.

She told her lawyer Sol Taule that the government would deport her, Mr Reyes said.

She has been doing missionary work, specifically among farmers and Lumad (indigenous peoples), in the Philippines for the past 27 years.

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said she had been working in the Philippines for 27 years.

Sister Patricia Fox, a missionary of the Our Lady of Sion, was apprehended Monday afternoon by six BI agents at their mission house in Quezon City.

The missionary visa of Fox was issued on October 15 last year and will expire on September 9 this year.

It's since been reported she will be released once her passport can be produced, CBCP News reports.

Fox's arrest was confirmed by BI spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang but no further details were provided.

Reuters was unable to contact Sister Fox for comment.

"Sister Pat Fox is a long time human rights advocate, particularly for the rights of mostly poor and landless farmers in the country".

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