Without treatment, Enrile could go blind: lawyer

Posted at 07/07/2014 9:40 AM

MANILA - The lawyer of detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile warned the senator could go blind if he does not undergo treatment for macular degeneration.

Enrile, who is detained in Camp Crame on plunder and graft charges, underwent checkups at the Asian Eye Institute in Rockwell, Makati over the weekend.

Enrile's lawyer, Enrique Dela Cruz, earlier said that the senator's eyes need to be injected with a special medicine regularly. He added Enrile may go blind if he does not take the medicine.

Enrile was the third senator arrested on plunder charges. The court denied his petition to be freed on bail due to his old age and poor health.

Prosecutors said Enrile had diverted congressional funds to bogus non-government organizations for agricultural projects.

The money was then ploughed back to him, bureaucrats and a businesswoman who devised the scheme, prosecutors added, based on government audit reports and testimony from whistleblowers.

Two other opposition senators are on trial for plunder and in police detention. Popular action move hero-turned senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla and Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, son of former president and now Manila mayor, have said the cases against them are politically motivated.

In 1986 Enrile, then a defense minister under Marcos, teamed up with General Fidel Ramos to spark a civilian-backed military revolt to topple Marcos. With reports by Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News; and Reuters