Ambush kills Pacquiao ally
A mayor and political ally of boxing superstar-turned-legislator Manny Pacquiao has died after being ambushed by unknown gunmen in a violence-wracked town in the south, police said on Saturday. Maitum Mayor George Perrett suffered a fatal cardiac arrest early on Saturday as he received treatment in hospital for a gunshot wound to the thigh, said Superintendent Jomar Yap, the deputy chief of police of Sarangani Province. Perrett was shot by unknown gunmen as he drove home with his wife and an aide late on Friday, Yap added. His companions were unhurt. Police said no suspects had been arrested and the authorities did not know if the attack was politically motivated. Maitum has a blood-spattered recent political history, losing two other sitting mayors in as-yet-unsolved gun attacks. Pacquiao has urged the police to bring the unknown suspects to justice. “I urge our law enforces to expedite the investigation of the case and do everything to identify and arrest those responsible,” Pacquiao said.
MSF to resume work
Officials has allowed Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to resume work in parts of the country, days after it ordered it to close its clinics, but not in the western strife-torn state of Rakhine, the medical aid group said. It did not give a reason for Thursday’s suspension, but media reported government officials had been angered by the charity’s public comments on Rakhine. The group has been giving care there to both ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, a mostly stateless minority who live in apartheid-like conditions and who otherwise have little access to healthcare. The UN and human rights groups say at least 40 Rohingya were killed by security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist civilians in a restricted area of the state in January. The government denies that any massacre took place. Government spokesman Ye Htut on Friday accused MSF of falsely reporting that it had treated victims near the scene of the alleged mass killing. MSF said in a statement on Saturday it had been allowed to resume work in Kashin and Shan states, as well as the Yangon region.
Pedophile captain jailed
A former marine captain will spend the rest of his life in prison for the violent sexual abuse of young girls in Cambodia, officials said. Michael Pepe was convicted in 2008, but was only sentenced by a federal court in Los Angeles on Friday after a delay following allegations of an affair between a US investigator and a Cambodian interpreter. Federal Judge Dale Fischer handed Pepe a 210-year sentence after stating the former soldier had shown “absolutely no remorse.” “He went to Cambodia because it was easy to molest little girls there,” Fischer said. “He raped and tortured them ... while maintaining the facade of being interested in the education of Cambodian children.” Fischer said he was imposing a maximum 30 years in jail for each of Pepe’s seven convictions, to run consecutively. Fischer awarded restitution of US$247,000 to organizations that house and cared for the victims. The judge said money from Pepe’s military pension would be used to pay for the award. “As far as I’m concerned, every last dime of it should go to the children,” Fischer said. Pepe, from Oxnard, California, was working part-time as a professor at a university in Phnom Penh when he was arrested by the Cambodian National Police in June 2006.