Sister Patricia Fox to Duterte: Listen to the oppressed
MANILA, Philippines – Before leaving the Philippines on Saturday, November 3, Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox left a message for President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Sana makinig siya sa mga daing ng maliliit na tao. 'Di lang ang military, 'di lang mga business people, pero mga urban poor, mga manggagawa, mga katutubo," Fox said during a press conference following a farewell mass at Saint Joseph's Church in Quezon City.
(I hope he listens to the cry of the small people. Not just the military, not just the business people, but the urban poor, the workers, the indigenous peoples.)
Fox was forced to leave the Philippines after helping those sectors for 27 years. Her missionary visa was downgraded to a tourist visa with a shorter stay period after the government spotted her joining public protests.
Duterte himself in April took "full responsibility" for the probe that led to Fox's pending deportation case – the same case used by the Bureau of Immigration as a basis not to extend her stay.
After her failed bid to stay, Fox said she will return to the Philippines someday.
Message for Filipinos
Fox on Saturday also encouraged Filipinos to understand the reason behind strikes and protests of oppressed sectors.
"Dapat sana may support sa mga strikes nila kasi may karapatan silang magwelga. Karapatan nila ang regular na trabaho.... Dapat magpalakas to be in solidarity with the people," Fox said.
(There should be a support for their strikes because they have a right to hold a strike. It is their right to have regular jobs.... You should be strong to be in solidarity with the people.)
"To be Christian, dapat kumilos, dapat maingay, dapat kung nandiyan na ang mga inaapi, dapat nandiyan [ka] (You should move, you should make noise, when the oppressed is there, you should be there with them)," Fox said, attributing her message to Pope Francis.
Fox said she has faith that Filipinos will stand for what is right, as she has witnessed Filipinos suffer and rise again from both natural and man-made calamities.
"The challenge now is not to lose hope.... If we all move together, we can bring about change, and I think that's the challenge. All sectors, the Church, everybody need to now come out together and say this is what we want for our society, this is what we want for our world," she added. – Rappler.com