MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he has rejected calls for him to reconsider government’s decision to expel Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox from the country.
Duterte recently had a meeting with fellow San Beda College of Law alumni, who were reportedly tapped by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines to intervene for Fox.
“Sabi nila, iyung mga taga-San Beda, aregluhin yung madre… Ah, maraming madre diyan,” Duterte said in a speech during the distribution of land titles to land reform beneficiaries in Mulanay, Quezon.
Duterte said the government was just following an order signed by former justice secretary and now-Senator Leila de Lima on the participation of foreigners in political activities in the Philippines.
“Sabi ko, anybody can criticize me, 'wag lang foreigner,” he said.
Immigration authorities recently ordered the 71-year-old missionary to leave the country for allegedly participating in a protest action in Duterte's hometown, Davao City.
Foreigners are prohibited from joining any gathering whether for or against the government under an order signed by De Lima, noted Duterte, apparently referring to Immigration Operation Order 2015-25.
Fox is the superior of the Notre Dame de Sion in the Philippines, a congregation of Catholic nuns.
She had been involved with human rights missions in Mindanao, looking into the plight of indigenous people and farmers, left-wing lawmakers said.