MANILA: Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the Philippines’ most powerful politicians, was arrested Friday over a massive corruption scandal that has shocked the country.
The 90-year-old ex-defence secretary, senate president, and martial-law enforcer of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos surrendered to police to stand trial on charges of taking nearly $4 million in kickbacks from illegally diverted state funds. “We’re just hoping for the best... Hopefully they will be able to provide for the needs of a 90-year-old,” his son Jack Enrile told ABS-CBN television. The network broadcast live footage as the Enrile clan rode a convoy of sports utility vehicles though traffic to bring the patriarch from his Manila mansion to the national police headquarters.
Police cordoned off his vehicle as the wealthy senator stepped out and walked into a police building, an AFP photographer saw. Enrile is the third member of the 24-seat senate to be arrested in a case that has staggered the nation, in which dozens of lawmakers, their staff and other officials are accused of embezzling millions of dollars alloted for development projects.
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