Philippine court orders arrest of third Filipino senator

Philippine court orders arrest of third Filipino senator

Fri Jul 4, 2014 3:26PM GMT

A court in the Philippines has ordered the arrest of the third politician in connection to a corruption scandal, who is one of the country’s most prominent senators,

The Philippine court on Friday called for the arrest of 90-year-old former defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, who is accused of taking nearly USD 4 million in kickbacks from illegally diverted state funds.

The chief martial law enforcer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has been charged with one count of plunder, punishable by life imprisonment.

Enrile’s spokesman said he was consulting his lawyers.

The special anti-graft tribunal also ordered four other suspects to be detained, including an aide to the politician.

Enrile is the third member of a 24-seat Filipino Senate to be ordered arrested over a large-scale corruption scandal.

Dozens of lawmakers, their staff and other officials are also accused of embezzling millions of dollars allotted to development projects.

On June 20, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Junior, a member of a powerful political clan and a famous movie and TV celebrity, turned himself in to police for allegedly funneling millions of dollars of public funds into fake organizations in return for huge payments.

Revilla faces one count of plunder and 16 counts of graft.

Police also arrested Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, son of former president and incumbent Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, last month.

The arrests mark a rare spectacle of the country’s political elite being made to answer for alleged crimes.

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