Duterte admits ordering probe vs Australian nun

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Philippine intelligence tags Sister Patricia Fox (center) an "undesirable alien" for allegedly attending an antigovernment rally, her lawyer says.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday released from its custody Australian missionary nun and known human rights advocate Sister Patricia Fox, a day after she was "illegally arrested and detained" by authorities.

He said the only reason she was released was because she was not caught in "flagrante delicto" - meaning she was not caught in the act of berating the government.

Addressing the "foul-mouthed" nun, Duterte said that Fox has no rights to criticize the Philippines but she could come here and enjoy all the sights.

"We respect the prerogative of the President but we appeal for him to withdraw his order because Sister Pat did not commit any disorderly conduct", said Fox's legal counsel Jobert Pahilga.

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Cristina Palabay, secretary-general of the human rights group Karapatan, said the arrest of Sister Fox and threats against global human rights advocates "are clear and blatant forms of violation on the exercise of people's right to extend worldwide solidarity to victims of rights violations".

"This is welcome news but we have to be vigilant against these increasing harassment, strong-arm tactics and vilification moves against human rights defenders by the present administration", he said. "Bakit hindi ka magyakyak doon (Why don't you rant there)?" said Duterte.

"You insult me under the cloak of being a Catholic priest, and you are a foreigner!"

He asked the left not to invite foreigners who intrude on the country's sovereignty.

Duterte told his political opponents not to invite critics to the country and warned that foreigners who "malign and defame" the government would be arrested. Perhaps, apologies are in order. "So siguro nagkakamali din naman ng CID (So maybe, the CID committed a mistake)", Roque told GMA. The bureau's investigation confirmed that she held a valid missionary visa and had not violated any immigration laws.

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Prior to the issuance of Fox's release order, progressive groups staged a protest in front of the BI office in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday morning, condemning her "illegal arrest and detention", and calling for her immediate release.

However, the BI has taken possession of her passport and she is expected to undergo preliminary investigation to determine if she is to be deported.

"I haven't joined political rallies in terms of party politics, but I have been active in human rights issues", she said.

A day before she was detained, Italian citizen Giacomo Filibeck, an official of the Party of European Socialists, was immediately deported after landing in the central city of Cebu.

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