MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he ordered an Australian nun investigated for alleged "disorderly conduct," but denied that he sought her arrest and deportation.
Duterte also called Patricia Fox, a 71-year-old missionary, foul-mouthed for criticizing his government while ignoring her own country's alleged misdeeds.
"It was not the military who arrested the nun, the Catholic nun from Australia. It was upon my orders, implemented by the Bureau of Immigration, and I take full responsibility, legal or otherwise," Duterte said in a speech in Camp Aguinaldo.
"I ordered her to be investigated, not deported at once, not arrested, but invite her to an investigation for disorderly conduct," he added.
Addressing Fox, the President said: "Ikaw madre, why don't you criticize your government? The way you handled refugees. Hungry and dying, and you turn them back to the open sea. You're getting rid of the natives there, and refugees in the island. Bakit hindi ka magyakyak doon?"
"Stick to your own religion, and try to correct abuses within your organization. To address homosexuality, and malpractices, and adulterous priests, p*t*ng*n*," he said.
Fox is the superior of the Notre Dame de Sion in the Philippines, a congregation of Catholic nuns.
She had been involved in human rights missions in Mindanao, looking into the plight of indigenous people and farmers, left-wing lawmakers said, almost a year after Duterte imposed martial law on the southern island of Mindanao.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said immigration authorities made a mistake in detaining Fox.
"Mukhang nagkamali dito kay Sister Fox at siguro apologies are in order, kasi madali naman siyang pinalabas din ng CID (Commission on Immigration and Deportation) 'no. So siguro nagkakamali din naman ang CID," Roque said in a GMA interview.
(There seems to be a mistake in the case of Sister Fox and perhaps apologies are in order. The CID released her immediately so maybe the CID made a mistake.)
Fox's detention came a day after Giacomo Filibeck, an Italian official of the European Union's Socialist Party, was barred from attending a local conference and deported for being on the immigration blacklist.
Filibeck had denounced killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war in his 2017 Manila visit.