American priest wanted for sexual abuse now in BI custody

MANILA — The 77-year-old American Catholic priest wanted by US authorities for sexually molesting several boys in Biliran province is currently detained at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Bicutan, Taguig City.

“(Fr. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks) is in Bicutan already. He was brought here yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon,” BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said in a text message to reporters Thursday.

“(There will be) no special treatment for him,” the BI official added.

Sandoval noted that there is no schedule yet as to when the priest would be deported, saying it is being prepared.

Hendricks was arrested Tuesday at the Diocese of Naval town, Biliran Island by operatives of BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU). He was arrested following an investigation conducted by BI and the Philippine National Police.

The American priest allegedly molested a number of boys living in his residence.

The American priest has been the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a court in Ohio, Sandoval said, adding that he will be expelled from the country because he is “a fugitive from justice that poses a risk to public safety and security.”

It was learned that prior to his arrest, Hendricks had stayed and practiced his vocation in the Philippines for 37 years.

The US Embassy is reportedly processing the revocation of Hendrick’s passport to help facilitate his immediate deportation.