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Philippines Charges Third Senator with Graft

  • VOA News

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, second left, is pictured leaving the Philippine National Police upon his surrender on corruption charges on July 4, 2014, at Camp Crame at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila.

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, second left, is pictured leaving the Philippine National Police upon his surrender on corruption charges on July 4, 2014, at Camp Crame at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila.

A Philippine senator and dictatorship-era defense minister who participated in the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos nearly 30 years ago turned himself into police Friday to face embezzlement charges.

Juan Ponce Enrile is the third senator in a month to be accused of misusing congressional funds.

He arrived at national police headquarters in a convoy of SUVs Friday before being taken to a hospital for monitoring.

Authorities allege that Enrile funneled nearly $4 million from Senate coffers between 2006 and 2010 through non-governmental organizations and back to himself.

Philippine National Police Spokesman Reuben Sindac said the 90-year-old is in frail health.

"The senator has completed his regular booking process and he has completed it fairly," he said. "Of course he has a medical condition, and it has been recommended that he has to be confined in the hospital for further observation until such time that there will be a court jurisdiction."

Enrile helped lead the "people power" revolt in 1986 that overthrew Marcos, who reportedly lined his pockets and those of his allies with billions of dollars during two decades in power.

Two more senators, Ramon Revilla, Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada, were arrested in June and also face corruption charges.

Estrada, the son of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, is accused of pocketing more than $4 million.

Ramon Revilla, a former TV and film start who became a senator, was arrested days before the younger Estrada on similar charges.

The three men are among dozens of lawmakers, legislative staff and other officials accused of embezzling millions of dollars in public funds.

Revilla and Estrada have said the cases against them are politically motivated, an allegation President Benigno Aquino denies.

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