“You have no right to criticise us” Duterte tells Sister Patricia Fox

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“Who are you? Just because you are a nun? You go back to your country and try to ponder the enormity of your problems,” said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

His words were directed at an Australian nun, Sister Patricia Fox, who was detained by immigration authorities last week.

“You nun, why don’t you criticise your own government, the way (they) handled the refugees hungry and dying and turned them back to the open sea?

“Why don’t you rant there?” Duterte said during a change-of-command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He has personally ordered an investigation into Fox’s activities for “disorderly conduct” and “violation of sovereignty.”

“I ordered her to be investigated, not deported at once, not arrested, but invite her to an investigation for a disorderly conduct,” Duterte said.

“It was upon my orders, implemented by the BI (Bureau of Immigration), and I take full responsibility, legal or otherwise, for this incident.”

The president said only Filipinos are entitled to criticize his administration.

He said he would personally order the arrest of Fox if she is caught attacking the government in demonstrations and protest rallies.

The 71-year-old superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion in the Philippines was arrested by six immigration officials on Monday last week and held for 24 hours.

She was accused of conducting illegal political activities in breach of her visa and of being an “undesirable alien”.

Fox has denied the allegations and said pictures produced as evidence were actually taken of her during an international fact-finding mission into alleged abuses and displacement of indigenous people in Mindanao under the current military operation there.

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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