Nun who lost Philippines deportation battle returns to Australia

Patricia Fox: Philippines expels Australian nun and Duterte critic

Sister Patricia Fox, the Australian nun who lost a long legal battle with Manila to stop her deportation, attacked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's "reign of tyranny" as she arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, November 4.

Sister Patricia Fox was escorted to the airport by about 200 human rights activists who praised her years of service in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation and condemned the administration for forcing her to leave.

Church figures have previously criticised Duterte´s policies particularly his signature anti-drug campaign that the government has left nearly 5,000 people dead since Duterte took office in 2016.

Sister Fox made a decision to leave after 27 years in the country after the Immigration Bureau denied her application for the extension of her visa.

He said Ms Fox, in participating in rallies, fact-finding missions and news conferences, "violated the conditions of her stay, thereby mocking our laws and abusing the hospitality extended to her by the host country".

Sr Fox said she came to his attention after going on a fact-finding mission in the president's home province.

President Rodrigo Duterte has bristled at criticism of his leadership, particularly by foreigners like Fox, who he says have no right to meddle in Philippine domestic affairs.

In Melbourne on Sunday, Sr Fox called on the responsibility of the Australian government to stand up against the Filipino leader.

But her missionary visa expired while various appeals were still being pursued and she was given a temporary tourist visa that expired on November 3. Most of the criticism has focused on his bloody anti-drug campaign, which has alarmed western governments and rights groups and prompted two complaints of mass murder before the International Criminal Court.

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Fox - who has spent nearly three decades working with Philippine labourers, farmers and urban poor - said she was leaving with sadness but urged her sympathisers to continue helping the disadvantaged.

Mr Fox said he was proud of his sister, who had always had strong convictions.

"I think they need to [be more forceful].we have to start being responsible for what's happening over there", she said.

Her ordeal has stirred debate in the Philippines about the wider issue of whether expatriates should be free to take a stand on human rights. They expressed fears that the move to evict Ms. Fox could undermine the crucial civic and religious work of foreign missionaries in the country.

"Duterte, expel him, Sister Pat, bring her back", some of the rallyists chanted.

Shortly after that, she was arrested briefly on charges of violating her visa's terms.

She was also a member of the staff of the Justice Prelature of Infanta from 1996 to 2000.

"The law is clear- The entry and admission of an alien is a matter of privilege, and not a right", Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said on Saturday.

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