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Monday, May 7, 2012

Black-eyed Ramon Tulfo sues Raymart and Claudine

Tulfo had just arrived from Davao on Sunday morning when he heard a woman berating a Cebu Pacific ground staff for “her mishandled luggage.”
He said he initially sympathized with the angry woman because he had been writing about the issue in past columns.
He went to the airline’s complaints desk and pulled out his mobile phone to document the incident, the photos he hoped to use as part of a future column. But as he was taking photos, a man approached him and instructed him to surrender the phone.
Tulfo refused and he was mauled by the man, whom he later learned to be Raymart Santiago, and several others who reportedly were the actor’s companions.
A clip of the brawl has been uploaded on the video-sharing website YouTube and passed around the social networking site Facebook.
It showed Tulfo, wearing a khaki vest, being grabbed in a headlock by a man in a grey shirt while another man in a pink shirt threw overhand rights at the columnist.
Barretto was heard screaming and joining the melee, and looked like she kicked and slapped Tulfo as he was being held down.
One account hosting the video at YouTube garnered more than 800,000 hits.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said there was nothing wrong in taking photographs of Barretto giving an airline staff a dressing down.
“Barretto and her husband are celebrities and are, thus, public figures. They were also in a public place and were involved in a commotion making the incident legitimate for coverage,” the NUJP said in a statement.
NUJP chairman Nestor Burgos Jr. said Tulfo was also right in not handing over his phone. “No one has the right to forcibly take a person’s camera or phone, especially of a journalist documenting a public incident.”
The National Press Club (NPC) described the beating of Tulfo as an attack on press freedom.
MalacaƱang said airport authorities were looking into the circumstances that led to the brawl.
But the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) indicated it would not conduct a formal inquiry.
MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said his office was “not competent to determine and we’re not mandated to determine the guilty party in the incident at NAIA Terminal 3.”
A black eye was all the evidence that Inquirer columnist and radio host Ramon Tulfo brought to the Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.
Tulfo filed grave coercion and physical injury charges against show-biz couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto and six others who ganged up on him at the airport on Sunday in what netizens billed “Thrilla in NAIA.”
Wearing the same vest he had on during the attack, Tulfo said he decided to press charges against the Santiagos because of the mauling he received from the group.
Despite being outnumbered, “I did not back down,” said Tulfo.
“I would have charged this to experience,” he told the Inquirer after filing the complaint in the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office. “But the cussing I received from her (Claudine} changed my mind. Besides, this should serve as a lesson to them to respect lowly people (maliliit na tao).
“Inalipusta niya yung pobreng empleyado (She ridiculed the poor employee),” he said.
He showed reporters the mouse under his right eye, which he said had been operated on last year. He also said that he was still feeling pain in the nape.
His lawyer, Mario General, said the degree of the charge against those who assaulted his client could be amended in the coming days when results of the medical exam on Tulfo shall have been released.
Tulfo, a martial arts expert, said he never figured in brawls such as the one he got into on Sunday because of his knowledge in self-defense.
But it appeared that facing several aggressors at the same time rendered his training of little use on that occasion.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Father Kevin Lee and wife Josephina

The Australian priest claimed that there are many others like him and that he pitied those “sacrificing” priests around the world who are denying themselves a relationship.

Double life: Father Kevin Lee has surprised his congregation by revealing that he has been married for a year despite having taken a vow of celibacy A Catholic priest has stunned his congregation by admitting he has been secretly married for a year. Father Kevin Lee claims he is lifting the lid on a widespread phenomenon among clergymen across the world, and insists: 'There are more like me'. Despite all priests having to take a vow of celibacy, Australian Fr Lee has been living a double life with his wife Josephina.

He told Australia's 7News: 'So I've fallen in love and I've got married and it's outside of most people's awareness, but I'm sure people within the church could have had a suspicion.' Following his televised revelations - and his plans to expand on them in a forthcoming book - he has been removed from his position and has since been excommunicated. Fr Lee, a priest for 20 years, said he made little effort to keep his relationship under wraps after he met Josephina in the Philippines and married her in secret. He said: 'People in the hierarchy probably knew or were prepared to turn a blind eye.'

he head of the diocese, Bishop Anthony Fisher, denied Lee's claim that most priests live double lives and that the hierarchy knew of his marriage.

Secret: Fr Lee, a priest for 20 years, said he made little effort to keep his relationship under wraps after he met Josephina in the Philippines and married her in secret

But it is with the public's views, rather than those of the church, that Fr Lee's concerns lie.
The priest explained: 'That's one of the reasons that's motivated me to make public my admission that I'm one of those people who's been a pretender: To draw to the attention of the public that there are more like me, in fact most of them.'

He said the pretence of celibacy also helps paedophile priests remain undetected, and hopes his coming clean will help stop the church 'systematically covering up generational abuse'.
Revelation: Father Lee's wife Josephina who he married a year ago. The priest said the pretence of celibacy helps paedophile priests remain undetected

Fr Lee said his announcement would come as a shock to many of his parishioners in Glenmore Park, Sydney.

But he was determined that his fellow priests should not have to sacrifice the chance to have a relationship and is calling for the Catholic church to do away with the requirement for celibacy.

The head of the local diocese, Bishop Anthony Fisher, denied that double lives are common among the Catholic clergy.

He said: 'As Father Kevin is aware, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest and as a result I will immediately be appointing an administrator to Padre Pio parish.'
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