The lawyer of an Australian nun detained in the Philippines hopes she will be released within hours and allowed to stay in the country given she’s done nothing wrong. Sister Patricia Fox was taken from her home to the immigration office in Manila on Monday where she was detained for illegal political activities, the secretary general of the leftist Bayan movement, Renato Reyes, has revealed.

Image Courtesy of ABS-CBN News 

Friends of the nuns say they are shocked that Rodrigo Duterte’s government has arrested a tender soul, who has lived in the Philippines for more than 27 years. Her lawyer, Jobert Ilarde Pahilga, insists the 71-year-old has done nothing illegal and was arrested because the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency complained she was an undesirable alien because she joined the rally against the government in Tagum City. But Pahilga said the nun didn’t join the rally and was visiting farmers and indigenous individuals in the region as part of his missionary work.
“[She] has done nothing wrong or illegal that would warrant her arrest, detention, and possible deportation,” he said on Tuesday. “She is a human rights and a genuine agrarian reform advocate who tirelessly provided various social service to farmers including the farmers of Hacienda Luisita.”

The president of the International Coalition for Human Rights, Peter Murphy, who has known Fox for many years and traveled with her in the Philippines, was shocked by her arrest. Fox’s detention came a day after Giacomo Filibeck, a Socialist party official from the European Union who’d criticized Philippine President Duterte’s brutal anti-drugs crackdown, was deported.
“Pat is a small fry in comparison,” Murphy said. “She’s not a prominent person in terms of public denunciations of the government.”
Murphy, who most recently traveled to the Philippines in February, said the detention center where Fox was being held was “a cage jammed full of people”.

“It’s a horrific location,” he said. Australia’s foreign affairs department “is aware an Australian woman was arrested in the Philippines”, a spokeswoman said.


Source: ABC-CBN News, The Guardian News