OP-ED COLUMN: OPINION & CARTOON – ‘A nun issue’ – Saturday, April 21, 2018

EDITORIAL:  A nun issue

The brief skirmish between President Duterte and an Australian nun was apparently an exclamation mark after the turning away of Party of European Socialists (PES) deputy secretary-general Giacomo Filibeck in Rody’s effort against intrusive aliens.
The 71-year old nun, Patricia Fox, was apprehended for “disorderly conduct” according to Rody, after she joined a fact-finding mission in Davao City, Rody’s hometown.
Rody said Fox was briefly held “upon my orders implemented by the Bureau of Immigration and I take full responsibility, legal or otherwise, for this incident.”
Had it been another President, a flat denial of his involvement would have been the official government position. But Rody of course is a unique creature.
Rody said he ordered the 71-year-old Catholic nun to be investigated “not deported at once, not arrested but to invite her to an investigation for a disorderly conduct.”
Rody’s temper is quick to boil as a result of foreigners shooting criticisms at the government at the instigation of his critics, primarily the yellow mob allied with the previous administration.
What apparently riled Rody was Sister Fox’s participation in several left-wing rallies in Davao City and her participation in a probe on the effects of the martial law in Mindanao and doing these in the pretense of community service as part of her missionary work.
Fox has joined activities of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (PATRIA) and she was part of the recent international fact finding and solidarity missions in Mindanao that probed the impact of the Duterte regime’s martial law and counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan on poor peasants in the island, according to left-wing group Karapatan.
Six intelligence agents from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) went to Fox’s house in Project 3, Quezon City to invite her for a verification of her immigration papers.
When they arrived at the BI office in Intramuros, Manila, Fox was told she was under arrest for joining rallies and “illegal political activities” and she will face a deportation procedure.
Fox’s lawyer said the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) of Region XI complained that Fox is an “undesirable alien” as she allegedly joined a rally against the government in Tagum City and visited the striking Coca-cola workers in Davao City.
Rody’s last straw on Fox was apparently her participation in the International Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission (IFFSM) conducted by human rights and farmers’ organization to document reports of human rights violations against farmers and members of the Lumad minorities in Mindanao where martial law is in effect.
Rody said he can take all the criticisms and attacks from all citizens of the country but not from a foreigner who “insults my country”.
“While I’m here, do not insult my country. Because you come here and go, we never did that to Australia. We never did that to European countries,” Duterte said.
Rody wanted to make a point about the display of hubris of foreigners visiting the country when their own countries have bigger problems on the observance of universal rights.
Rody, for instance, said Fox should be in Australia criticizing her own government on the way it handles Rohingya refugees who were “hungry and dying and you turned them back to the open sea.”
Hundreds of refugees were held by the Australian government in a notorious detention center on remote Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The indefinite detention was a consequence of a hardline immigration policy that sees asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat automatically banished to offshore centers in Papua New Guinea or the tiny pacific island state of Nauru.
It was, in the words of an Australian former chief immigration psychiatrist, a deliberate torture.
“You are too presumptuous about looking at the Filipinos. You have much worse human rights violations. Here, I kill criminals, how about you?,” Duterte asked Fox.
“Men, women and children seeking sanctuary, under the heat of the sun and in the coldness of the night. You drove them back to where they came from and you know that they were also being rejected from the country which they were trying to flee,” he added.
In a word, Rody demands respect from the likes of Fox and Filibeck. /  Written by  Tribune Wires /Saturday, 21 April 2018 00:00 /



7.1.  A nun issue – The Daily Tribune

7.2   Improving traffic in Metro Manila  –  The Manila Bulletin

7.3.  A roller-coaster ride –  The Manila Standard

7.4. INFLATION  –  The Manila Times

7.5.  ‘The grip is getting tighter’ –  The Philippine Daily Inquirer


7.6    Time for abolition – The Philippine Star
7.  Disiplina 24/7 ni Albayalde   – Pilipino Star Ngayon

8.1.   Premium –Abe’s mixed bag from Mar-a-Lago  – For The Straits Times

Ravi VelloorAsso -Associate Editor– For The Straits Times

A 35-year veteran of the trade, he has reported from across Asia, and the US. Formerly Foreign Editor and South Asia Bureau Chief of ST, he is as much at ease with global business and macro-economic issues as he is with diplomacy and international politics. A Jefferson Fellow, Ravi previously worked with Bloomberg News, Time Warner magazines and Agence France-Presse.

9.1.  Regime’s best-laid plans still subject to folly –
– The Bangkok Post


10.1   Keeping a balanced view on access to high places – Viet Nam News by Thu Trang
llustration by Trịnh Lập
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