'Thinking Pinoy' blogger pleads not guilty to libel

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2018 12:20 PM | Updated as of Oct 10 2018 12:53 PM

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MANILA - "Thinking Pinoy" blogger Rey Joseph "RJ" Nieto entered Wednesday a not guilty plea to the libel case filed against him by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The case stemmed from Nieto's social media post in October 2017 claiming that US President Donald Trump supposedly called Senator Antonio Trillanes IV a "narco", a colloquial word for drug lord.

Nieto's camp initially asked the Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 111 to postpone his arraignment but Judge Wilhelmina Wagan rejected the request, saying it will go against the courts' mandate of a speedy trial.

Nieto admitted during the pre-trial that he manages and writes for Thinking Pinoy, and that he composed and uploaded the post that branded Trillanes as a "narco."

Court Prosecutor Alan Mangabat said his camp will present to the court Trillanes, and 2 other witnesses. Nieto's camp, meanwhile, manifested 5 witnesses.

The blogger refused to comment on the case, telling reporters, "Let's just wait for the trial."

The next hearings are set on December 5 and January 30.

The post on Nieto's public account was shared by 15,759 Facebook users and generated 62,000 reactions.