MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday filed libel charges against pro-administration blogger Rey Joseph Nieto for allegedly labeling him a "narco" in one of his social media posts.
The libel case stemmed from Nieto's October 31 Facebook post where he said that, "US President Donald J. Trump reportedly called Senator Antonio 'Sonny' F. Trillanes IV a 'Narco', a colloquial word for a 'drug baron' or 'drug lord.'"
"The claim of Nieto constitutes 'fake news,'" Trillanes said in a complaint filed before a Pasay City court.
"When the Philippine Star sought verification on the said claim, the US Embassy referred the newspaper to the official website where transcripts of the US President’s press engagements are made available. And, lo and behold, there was never a mention of my name in the transcripts thereon," he said.
Trillanes noted in his complaint that as of November 21, Nieto's "malicious" post had received 62,000 reactions, and was shared 15,759 times.
"Being a very vocal and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, of whom Respondent Nieto is a self-confessed diehard supporter and defender, Respondent Nieto’s post was clearly made solely for the purpose of besmirching my reputation and maligning my name," Trillanes said in his complaint.
This case is very solid, Trillanes told Senate reporters before filing the complaint.
"Being a public official hindi naman tayo balat sibuyas. Ito lumampas na sa limit so we need to act on it kasi yung mga bloggers na yan, mamimihasa yan," he said.
In a Facebook post, Nieto said he has yet to receive a copy of the libel complaint.
"Wouldn't it be fun if it starts with, 'This is where your taxes go?'" he said.