Philippines    PRESIDENT SACKS JUSTICE SECRETARY AMID PRIEST'S KILLER CONTROVERSY
President Joseph Estrada dismissed his justice secretary three days after Church leaders met with the country's executive secretary to oppose the presidential pardon given a convicted priest killer.
   National newspapers speculated that three cases including the pardon of Norberto Manero, convicted in the 1985 murder of Italian Father Tullio Favali, led to former justice secretary Serafin Cuevas' replacement.
   Bishop Romulo Valles of Kidapawan told UCA News that he was not surprised with the president's move. However, he refused to confirm whether Cuevas' replacement was among matters taken up at last week's meeting between Church officials and Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora.
   
UCAN 15/2/00

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