President Duterte has said that critics are welcome to criticise him — unless they are foreigners, and in particular religious ones.
Speaking in Davao City yesterday (Saturday, July 7) he said: “Every Filipino is entitled to criticise me as a matter of right. 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.
“After all, we’re not supposed to do it in your country.”
The president’s remarks come after the Bureau of Immigration ordered three Methodist missionaries to leave the country, including American Adam Shaw.
Also ordered to leave the Philippines for allegedly being involved in left-wing activism were Tawanda Chandiwana of Zimbabwe and Miracle Usman of Malawi.
Previously, the president had revealed that he personally ordered the bureau to investigate the “disorderly conduct” of Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox.
The 71-year-old was was arrested at her Quezon City home in April and questioned for 24 hours about her alleged involvement in political protests.
On April 23 the bureau ordered her to leave the Philippines within 30 days. However, the Department of Justice later allowed her to stay in the country pending an appeal.
In his speech yesterday, the president added: “When you criticise me, do not use the platform of God. There is a clear cut between religion and governance. You cannot use God to criticise me.”
Previously, in a speech in Davao on Friday, the president pledged to resign if anybody could prove the existence of god.
In recent weeks he has risked the ire of his country’s Catholic majority by questioning God’s wisdom, going so far as to call him a “stupid son-of-a-bitch”.
In Friday’s speech he took issue with the concept of original sin, which he said taints even babies and can only be removed through a paid-for church baptism.
He asked: “Where is the logic of God there?”
He also said that if there’s “one single witness” who can prove, perhaps with a picture or a selfie, that a human was “able to talk and to see God” he would immediately resign.