THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) released from its custody on Tuesday Sister Patricia Fox, an Australian missionary, a day after she was apprehended for allegedly engaging in partisan politics.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente approved a recommendation of the BI legal division headed by lawyer Arvin Cesar Santos that Fox be released for further investigation after it was established that the Australian nun holds a valid missionary visa and, thus, she is a properly documented alien.
Fox reportedly submitted her passport and other immigration documents showing that she was issued her missionary visa on Octobe 15 last year and that the visa is valid until September 9 this year.
In a two-page Note with Recommendation to Morente, Santos noted that while Fox was alleged to have taken part in protest actions by farmers in the past, she was not doing so at the time when BI operatives served her the mission order on Monday.
He said Fox is not covered by inquest proceedings as the latter will only apply to aliens arrested after being caught in flagrante violating immigration laws.
Under BI rules, Santos said, Fox should undergo preliminary investigation to determine if deportation charges should be filed against her before the bureau’s board of commissioners.