We Stand With Sr. Patricia Fox
November 3, 2018
As Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox is compelled to leave the Philippines today under protest, Karapatan denounces the nearly seven-month ordeal of Fox as one that illustrates the Duterte regime’s contempt for those who promote genuine peace and social justice in the Philippines.
Sr. Pat’s exemplary service to the Filipino people, through her missionary work among the country’s poor communities, cannot be denied. She supported the peasants in their fight for genuine agrarian reform and stood with those dispossessed of land and social services. She studied and understood the plight of indigenous peoples in their struggle against discrimination and state violence. She extended help to workers when they needed support in their campaigns against contractualization and for wage increase. She visited political prisoners, talked to victims of human rights violations and offered them messages of hope. These are acts of compassion, selfless service, and courage. These are acts that merit commendation, not the kind of vitriol and condemnation she has received from Duterte himself.
Only those who detest the poor would want a Sr. Patricia Fox out of the Philippines. They thought that without this nun, the poor will be rendered voiceless. They thought that when they drive out this missionary, the poor will be discouraged from seeking solidarity. They thought that without her, the struggle for human rights and people’s rights will stop gaining allies in the international community. They are sorely mistaken.
For one, Sr. Patricia Fox has pledged to continue her mission – that is, to be alongside the Filipino people in their plight and their struggles, wherever she may be. But more importantly, and just as how Sr. Pat has stated, the Filipino people, the poor, downtrodden and exploited, will continue the struggle for a just and lasting peace even under the worst conditions, for ours is a struggle that cannot be silenced and defeated especially by arrogant and self-serving tyrants. There are more individuals like Sr. Patricia Fox, and we will stand with them always, just as how they have stood with the oppressed.
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Roneo “Jigs” Clamor, Deputy Secretary General, Karapatan, 09997721233