DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Critics are welcome to say all they want about his governance, but President Rodrigo Duterte said they have to make sure they're not foreigners in his country.
"Every Filipino is entitled to criticize me as a matter of right. Okay sa akin 'yan (That is fine with me), but certainly not a foreigner, however holy you are. I will not allow [you] to do it in my country," Duterte said in his speech on Saturday, July 7, at the inauguration of Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City.
He added, "After all, we're not supposed to do it in your country."
The President reiterated his stance days after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) ordered 3 Methodist missionaries to leave the Philippines.
Foreign missionaries Tawanda Chandiwana of Mutare, Zimbabwe, Adam Thomas Shaw of Brunswick, Ohio, USA, and Miracle Usman of Blantyre, Malawi were ordered to leave for supposedly joining "political activities."
Earlier in April, Duterte publicly admitted that he had ordered the BI to investigate the "disorderly conduct" of another foreign missionary, Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox.
Fox was detained in the Philippines and was accused by Duterte himself of badmouthing his administration.
The BI on April 23 ordered Fox to leave the Philippines. The Department of Justice later allowed her to stay in the country for now. (EXPLAINER: Patricia Fox case puts spotlight on PH immigration laws)
"When you criticize me, do not use the platform of God. There is a clear cut between religion and governance. You cannot use God to criticize me," Duterte said on Saturday. – Rappler.com