Press Release
April 19, 2018

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580

Duterte’s tirades vs Australian nun are signs of a macho-fascist’s bruised ego – Karapatan

Hours after the Presidential Spokesperson said that apologies are in order with regard to the wrongful arrest of Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox who has been doing missionary work in the Philippines for 27 years, Duterte has once again started his tirade.

“The formula is consistent: facing his equally fascist and bloodthirsty security forces, Duterte feels the need to act tough through insults, offensive pronouncements and hate speech. What a pitiful man; desperate for respect by way of disrespecting others. Duterte’s macho-fascist ego is once again bruised by the widespread support for Sr. Pat and the condemnation against his government thereafter. As expected, the President turns to his minions and puts on his strongman mask to help cushion the damage to his bruised ego,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Duterte’s statement that he ordered the investigation of Fox.

Sr. Patricia Fox, NDS, a missionary of the international Roman Catholic congregation of women Sisters of Our Lady, was arbitrarily arrested and detained by intelligence officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on April 16, 2018. She was brought to the BI office in Intramuros where she was kept for close to 24 hours. She was released in the afternoon of April 17, following protests from various human rights and religious groups.

“It is ironic how Duterte accuses Sr. Pat of having no shame and of having a foul mouth, while spewing hate speech against her. It is also ludicrous how Duterte easily cries “violation of sovereignty” against people who have rightfully raised issues on human rights in the country, while his government has allowed foreign troops in our islands, allowed China’s occupation and building of facilities in our territories, recently signed a loan agreement amounting to about PhP3billion with China for a pump irrigation project in the Chico River which would further plunder our resources and uproot indigenous communities in the Cordilleras,” Palabay explained, adding that the right to expression is not tantamount to a violation of a country’s sovereignty, but puppetry to foreign interests does.

The arbitrary arrest of 71-year-old Sr. Fox also highlighted the adverse impact of this order and its inherent repressive features which run contrary to the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity, as well as the freedom of expression, association, and peaceable assembly that should be accorded without discrimination to both citizens and non-citizens of a specific country.

Signed July 3, 2015, Operations Order No. SBM-2015-05, or an order on the prohibition on foreign tourists in engaging in political activities in the Philippines, took effect. The said order stipulates that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) will receive reports of foreigners joining, interfering, and undermining political activities in the country, and that they are not entitled to the exercise of political right which are inherently exclusive to Filipino citizens. Tourists found to have joined political activities will be subject to deportation. Said order was signed by then Commissioner Siegfred Mison and then Secretary of the Department of Justice Leila De Lima.

“This order along with Philippine immigration laws have been the basis for the arrest of Sr. Pat, and will undoubtedly be used to crackdown on foreigners critical of the Duterte regime’s anti-people policies. Clearly, the Duterte regime gives no attention to all the human rights agreements that it should be upholding, considering the fact that it even neglects our country’s constitution,” Palabay stated.

“Nonetheless, due pressure should be shown to junk the said Operations Order as an unconstitutional policy and one that violates international human rights law, and hold the current government accountable for its intensifying repression against the Filipino people, and all who have sought to express solidarity from other countries,” concluded Palabay.


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.