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Ex-Philippine leader pleads not guilty to plunder

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:21 p.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012

MANILA, Philippines >> A Philippine court has entered a not-guilty plea for former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on charges she misused $8.8 million in state lottery funds in a third corruption case against her.

Arroyo is suffering from a neck ailment and police brought her to the anti-graft court Monday from a military hospital. She was admitted days before the court served the arrest warrant against her on plunder charges early this month and ordered her confined under guard.

She refused to enter a plea and prompted the judge to record not guilty on her behalf. If found guilty, she could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Arroyo finished her nine-year term in 2010. She is separately charged with vote fraud and in another corruption case.

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