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Blogger RJ Nieto ordered charged for cyber-libel in ‘defaming’ Trillanes

The Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office has approved the libel case filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against blogger Rey Joseph "RJ" Nieto for the latter's "false and derogatory" statements on his Facebook page "Thinking Pinoy."

In a resolution resolution signed on June 11, 2018, the Prosecutor’s office recommended that a libel case under Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cyber-crime Prevention Act of 2012 be filed against Nieto.

Trillanes filed label cases against Nieto after Thinking Pinoy Facebook page posted the following:

The resolution found that the post is malicious, and has no good intention and justifiable motive. It also claimed that the labels on Trillanes as a "narco," "drug baron," or "drug lord" are not only false and baseless, but are not also covered by privileged communication.

"Needless to say, the false and baseless defamatory imputation against complainant must tend to cause, or has caused him dishonor, discredit, and/or contempt. The false imputation, at the time it was posted, was sufficient to induce the viewers/audience on Facebook to suppose and understand that complainant was guilty of certain offense or was sufficient to impeach his honesty, virtue or reputation," it read.

The resolution maintained that while public officials should not be "onion-skinned," it is not an excuse for anyone to make baseless lies and made up stories against any public official.

"This should serve as a warning for Mr. Nieto and other Duterte bloggers to stop peddling lies, as part of their propaganda. Their activities reflect the kind of administration that they support. Sooner or later, they will all be accountable for their actions," Trillanes said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Further in his statement, Trillanes said Nieto will now be brought to trial and face a penalty of at least prison correccional or imprisonment from six months to one year to six years should he be adjudged guilty of libel.

Nieto to file response

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Nieto wrote that he has just recently received a copy of the complaint.

"I am aware of the case since Trillanes did announce it to the media. However, we did not receive a copy of the complaint until recently so my counsels will be filing the appropriate response," he said.

"You see, I cannot possibly reply to a complaint that I have no copy of," Nieto added.

He said his lawyers will most likely file a motion for reconsideration.

"Most likely, a motion for reconsideration based on the lack of notice shall be filed, though I leave it to my lawyers to decide the best course of action. No further comments for now," Nieto added. —Jamil Santos/LBG/KG, GMA News