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U.S. police to question Philippine ex-Jackson staff

MANILA -- Two U.S. police detectives investigating child molestation charges against Michael Jackson will question a Philippine couple who claims the pop star fondled young boys, the American Embassy and the couple said Monday.

The detectives, from Los Angeles, California, are to scheduled to arrive in Manila Tuesday to meet Mariano Quindoy, who managed Jackson's Neverland Valley home from 1988 to 1990 with his wife, Faye.

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'That is confirmed, they are coming tomorrow,' U.S. Embassy spokesman Frank Jenista said, adding that embassy officials had been in contact with the lawyers of Quindoy.

Jackson has been haunted for weeks by allegations he sexually abused a 13- year-old boy. The boy has filed a civil suit against the 35-year- old star in Los Angeles.

Representatives of Jackson, who is currently on the Middle East leg of a world tour, have said the charges are part of an elaborate plot to extort $20 million from the mega star.

Quindoy, a 59-year-old Philippine attorney who left Jackson's ranch due to disagreements with other staff and a pay dispute, claimed he saw the singer fondle young boys on at least two occasions.

He and his wife said they were willing to testify in the case involving the 13-year-old boy, adding they 'had reason to believe' his claims although the alleged incident occurred long after they had left Jackson's employ.

Quindoy said he and his wife planned to meet with the detectives early this week in Manila's business district. 'They want us to shed light on the Michael Jackson case,' he said.

Quindoy plans to write a book about what he allegedly saw during his employment at the Neverland resort. He has denied his allegations could be designed to foster interest in the manuscript.

Family and friends have rushed to Jackson's defense including Elizabeth Taylor, who accompanied the singer for several days during appearances in Asia in early September.

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