May 30, 2018
A bill filed in the House of Representatives seeks to grant a Filipino citizenship status to Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox.
Lawmakers belonging to the Makabayan Bloc are asking the chamber to confer citizenship to Fox as a “fitting recognition of her selfless service to the poor and oppressed Filipinos”.
The nun has been in the country for 27 years helping farmers, indigenous peoples and other marginalized people in the communities.
“By living with the poor and oppressed, Sr. Pat has come to understand, experience and embrace the culture and the struggle of the poor Filipino majority,” the bill reads.
Sought for her reaction, Fox said she felt privileged that the lawmakers would consider filing a bill that would make her a citizen.
“I am very honored that would even propose such a thing… because that makes me feel very accepted,” she said at a media forum in Quezon City. “And that has been how I always felt here: very accepted.”
Fox was, however, lost for words when asked if she believes that the bill would be passed by Congress.
Last Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) granted a reprieve to Fox, who has been ordered to leave the Philippines for allegedly violating the terms of her missionary visa.
DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra asked the BI to comment on Fox’s petition and to review her case in 10 days.
In his order, Guevarra said that the nun can still stay in the country until June 18.
The bureau earlier said that the 71-year-old nun has until May 25 to leave the country or else she will be deported.
The BI arrested Fox on April 16 and detained her overnight for alleged participation in political activities.