Philippine film star-turned-senator Ramon Revilla pleads not guilty to graft
Published on Jun 26, 2014 1:33 PM
MANILA (REUTERS) - A popular Philippine action movie hero-turned senator pleaded not guilty to plunder on Thursday in a case seen as landmark test of the government's ability to tackle entrenched corruption in the poor South-east Asian nation.
Ramon "Bong" Revilla, known for possessing amulets to defeat his enemies in film, stood quietly with about 20 other co-accused during the arraignment hearing. "Not guilty" one of the three judges said when they did not hear him enter a plea.
The opposition senator faces life imprisonment if found guilty of pocketing 224 million pesos ($6.3 million) from 2007 to 2010 from congressional funds. Revilla is being held at a police camp.
The plunder trial is central to President Benigno Aquino's effort to shed the country's image as one of the most corrupt in Asia.
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