Ressa enters no plea in second cyber libel case


Posted at Dec 15 2020 11:30 AM | Updated as of Dec 15 2020 12:12 PM

Ressa enters no plea in second cyber libel case 1
Rappler CEO and journalist Maria Ressa speaks during a press conference after receiving a guilty verdict on cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15, 2020. Angie De Silva, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Rappler chief Maria Ressa on Tuesday did not enter a plea to to the conditional arraignment for the second cyber libel charge filed against her by businessman Wilfredo Keng.

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the case.

Under the rules, when an accused enters "no plea," the court automatically records "not guilty," according to Ressa's counsel Theodore Te.

Keng had accused Ressa of defaming him for a second time by sharing screenshots of a 2002 Philippine Star article linking him to the killing of a Manila councilor and other illegal activities.

The story was cited by Rappler in its 2012 article on Keng, the basis of the businessman's first cyber libel case over which Ressa and former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. were convicted in June.

The court, meantime, allowed her to travel to the US to visit her mother.

No travel bond was imposed for Maria Ressa’s travel but she was placed under the “recognizance” of Te.

Recognizance contemplates release of an accused to the custody of a qualified member of the barangay, city or municipality where the accused resides.

More details to follow.

--Report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

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