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CHR urges gov’t to observe due process in Sr. Patricia Fox’s case

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday called on the Philippine government to observe the rule of law regarding the case of Australian nun Patricia Fox, who was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents and later on released for further probe.

In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said it is the mandate of the government to protect and promote human rights of every person in the Philippines, including foreigners.

"This includes ensuring that everyone, including Australian nun Patricia Fox, is granted due process while we assert our national laws," De Guia said.

"Even foreign nationals are granted the right to peaceful assembly so long as they do not interfere with national security, public safety, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others," she added.

Fox, who was apprehended on Monday afternoon for allegedly "joining rallies," was set free after authorities found out that she holds a valid missionary visa.

The 71-year-old nun has stayed in the Philippines for 27 years helping peasants and indigenous people.

Fox's arrest came after the entry denial and eventual blacklisting of an Italian political party official for allegedly criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte's war against illegal drugs.  —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News