MANILA: An American Catholic priest desired for allegedly sexually abusing Filipino altar boys as younger as seven has been arrested in the Philippines and now faces deportation, officers said Thursday.

Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, 77, was taken into custody Wednesday on the vital island of Biliran after serving as a priest for 37 years within the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

“We received facts from US authorities regarding the alleged sexual exploitation of a couple of minor Filipino boys with the aid of Hendricks,” immigration bureau spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in a declaration.

“this is our priority, to kick out humans like this because they're preying on our youngsters,” she advised AFP.

Hendricks changed into desired on an American warrant after being indicted via a US courtroom on costs of “accomplishing illicit sexual behavior in remote places”, immigration authorities stated.

the united states embassy in Manila did not at once offer touch upon the case. It turned into now not clear how American authorities had found out of the allegations.

The priest allegedly abused altar boys, who have been between the a while of 7 and 12, in his house and warned them they would visit prison in the event that they told all and sundry approximately the molestation, they brought.

Hendricks, carrying a blue blouse and glasses, evenly nodded as he was being study his rights, tv reports showed. He later said he desired to look the prices in opposition to him in writing.

nearby police stated Hendricks became also the issue of a separate research by using Philippine government after boys filed a complaint against him.

“human beings in the network could not accept as true with the allegations as he was known as an excellent priest. He had no document of any violations so the network was greatly surprised,” provincial police spokesperson chief Inspector Lilibeth Morillo told AFP.

Hendricks is to be deported and banned from the Philippines, the immigration bureau said.

The Philippines is Asia’s biggest Catholic u . S . A . And has additionally seen sexual abuse charges levelled in opposition to its clergy.

A US courtroom in October sentenced a Filipino ex-priest to 20 years in jail for abusing minors there inside the Nineties.