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Pro-Duterte blogger indicted for cyberlibel

The Pasay City Prosecutors’ Office has recommended the filing of cyberlibel charges against “Thinking Pinoy” blogger and administration supporter Rey Joseph “RJ” Nieto.

Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV filed a libel case against Nieto after he, in a Facebook post, claimed that United States President Donald Trump called the opposition lawmaker a “drug lord.”

Pasay City Senior Deputy Prosecutor Dolores Rillera, in a resolution signed June 11, 2018, indicted Nieto for libel under the Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for his “false and baseless defamatory imputation against Trillanes.”

The resolution said Nieto “imputed a crime, vice, defect, act, condition, and/or status against the complainant when he posted that he is a ‘narco,’ ‘drug baron,’ or a ‘drug lord.’” The post was also “malicious, false, and baseless,” the resolution said.

It noted that while public officials should not be onion-skinned, “this should not be an excuse for anyone to make baseless lies and make up stories against public officials.”

Trillanes lauded the development and said this should warn other bloggers to stop spreading lies for their propaganda. “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,” he said.

Nieto is behind the blog Thinking Pinoy which is known for supporting President Duterte while attacking his critics.
Nieto’s Facebook post on Trillanes in October 2017, garnered more than 62,000 reactions and more than 15,000 shares.

Nieto did not file a counter-affidavit during the preliminary investigation of Trillanes’ complaint. Nieto will now be brought to trial and might face a penalty of at least prision correccional or imprisonment from six months to one year to six years should he be convicted guilty of libel. (Vanne Terrazola)