MANILA - Activist lawmakers on Thursday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for calling an Australian nun accused of engaging in "political activities" in the country "foul-mouthed."
Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus finds it ironic that Duterte, who is known for lacing his speeches with expletives, is accusing Sister Patricia Fox, a 71-year-old missionary, of profanity.
“Napaka-ironic. Kung sino'ng nagbubuga ng salitang anti-mamamayan, anti-women, anti-mahirap—'yung sinabi niya, mas masahol pa sa kanyang bunganga,” she said in a press conference.
(It's very ironic. The person who's known for his anti-people, anti-women, anti-poor statements is the one saying this. His mouth is worse.)
Duterte yesterday admitted that he was the one who ordered immigration authorities to investigate Fox for her alleged involvement in political activities.
"H'wag mong papasukin kasi madumi ang bunganga ng madreng 'yan," Duterte said, accusing Fox of criticizing the government. (Don't let the nun enter the country because she's foul-mouthed.)
De Jesus also said that while Duterte is making strong statements against the nun, he is quiet on the "interventions" of China in the West Philippine Sea.
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, meanwhile, warned that the detention of Fox and the deportation of European Socialist Party official Giacamo Filibeck may be a warning to foreign critics.
The lawmakers suspect that the government has blacklisted its foreign critics. They want the government to reveal who are on the list.
Fox, who's been living in the Philippines for 27 years helping farmers and indigenous peoples, has denied her involvement in political activities in the country.
She admitted having contacts with groups associated with the Left but explained that this is just because her missionary work requires her to deal with the oppressed.
--report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News