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3 Philippine senators charged with plunder, receiving kickbacks from funds for the poor

Philippine government prosecutors have filed corruption charges against three senators who allegedly received hundreds of millions of pesos (millions of dollars) in kickbacks from funds allocated for projects for the poor.

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, former Senate Protempore Jinggoy Estrada, and Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. were charged Friday with plunder, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and is non-bailable.

Also charged were about a dozen other people, including businesswoman Janet Napoles, who allegedly created dummy aid organizations used as fronts to receive government funds intended for agriculture and livelihood projects and from where the kickbacks were obtained.

The three senators have denied involvement in the scam, which triggered public outraged and a massive anti-corruption rally last year. Another rally has been scheduled for next week.

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