Three Methodist Missionaries Return Home After Philippines Orders Them to Leave

ICC Note: Three Methodist missionaries accused of involvement in political activities and barred from leaving the Philippines have all returned to their home countries safely. The last of the three exited the Philippines on July 12. Critics fear a crackdown on foreign missionaries as President Duterte has threatened to deport foreigners who speak out against him.

07/13/2018 Philippines (Rappler) – Methodist missionary Miracle Osman left the Philippines after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) served her an order to leave due to her alleged involvement in political activities, her lawyer said Friday evening, July 13.

Osman of Blantyre, Malawi, exited the Philippines on Thursday, July 12. She was the third Methodist missionary recently expelled – and blacklisted – from the Philippines.

“Yes, she left yesterday for Malawi,” her lawyer Kristina Conti of the Public Interest Law Center said in a text message to Rappler on Friday evening.

“She was surprised to have been served an order to leave last week. She was not subject to formal investigation, which was irregular. She wasn’t given due process, but graciously accepted the decision,” Conti said.

Rappler is still trying to reach the BI for confirmation as of posting time.

Conti said Osman was ordered to leave for joining a “fact-finding mission” in Mindanao. She said this accusation was “incorrect, however, because they also included her in the Lake Sebu fact-finding team.”

The Lake Sebu fact-finding team looked into an incident in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, where soldiers allegedly killed at least 8 indigenous people in December 2017.

Conti clarified that Osman “was with another team, in another site.”

Earlier, Methodist missionaries Adam Thomas Shaw and Tawanda Chandiwana also left the Philippines for supposedly engaging in political activities. The BI also accused Shaw and Chandiwana of overstaying.

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