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ICC Note: The arrest, detention, and imminent deportation of Australian nun Patricia Fox have Philippine religious leaders worry that the government is trying to silence church people who dare to speak out against President Duterte’s administration. In the last few years, many Filipino Catholics have come forward to criticize the government’s extrajudicial killings and human rights abuse.

04/26/2018 Philippines (UCA News) – Philippine religious leaders have warned that the Philippine government is trying to silence church people who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

They said the arrest, detention, and impending deportation of Australian missionary nun Patricia Fox “is part of a systematic move to silence the church.”

Speaking before a media briefing on April 26, Redemptorist priest Oliver Castor said the government has been trying “to stop the church’s work with the poor.”

The priest, a member of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, said what the government did to Sister Fox was similar to what the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos did during his reign.

The former dictator deported foreign missionaries who exposed human rights abuses by the military in the provinces during the years of martial law.

The Philippines’ immigration bureau has revoked the missionary visa of Sister Fox this week due to her alleged involvement in partisan political activities.

The Australian nun who belongs to the international Catholic missionary congregation Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, said what she went through “is an attack to the whole church.”

The 71-year-old Sister Fox faced the media a day after the Bureau of Immigration forfeited her missionary visa and ordered her to leave the country in the next 30 days.

The nun said she was surprised by the decision of the immigration bureau. “I hope there is a due process so I can explain what is missionary work,” she told the media..

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