The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) today decried the illegal arrest, threat, harassment and intimidation of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) against Sister Patricia “Pat” Fox, NDS, an Australian missionary nun and former National Coordinator of the RMP.

According to an urgent alert sent by the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikulura (UMA), Sr. Pat, 71, was taken by two (2) teams of BI agents who went into her house in Project 2, Quezon City supposedly just to verify her papers. She was then brought to the BI Intelligence Division where she is now being held and detained.

“Sr. Pat is known among Church people for her progressive advocacies and her steadfast commitment to serve the rural poor, “ said Sr. Elen Belardo, RMP National Coordinator. “This incident is undeniably part of the Duterte administration’s crackdown against human rights defenders and rural poor and land reform advocates,” she added.

Sr. Pat served as the National Coordinator of the RMP from 2002-2008. During her term, Sr. Pat actively advocated for genuine agrarian reform and rural sectors’ welfare. She organized and implemented various activities aimed at providing services to farmers, fisherfolk, and indigenous people.

“It is disheartening that Sr. Pat is being attacked by our government when all she does is serve and support the Filipino rural poor,” Sr. Elen said.

Last April 6 – 9, Sr. Pat joined the International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission in Mindanao that investigated various forms of rights abuses against farmers and Lumad in the Southern, Northern and Caraga Region.

“We demand for Sr. Pat’s immediate and unconditional release.  We also call on the religious community to denounce this latest attack against Church people,” Sr. Elen ended.##

Reference: Sr. Elenita Belardo, rgs| National Coordinator, RMP |0977-206-3182