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Trillanes sues blogger for libel over ‘fake news’

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OPPOSITION  Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday filed a libel complaint  against pro-Duterte blogger Rey Joseph Nieto, who runs the blog ThinkingPinoy, over his Facebook post that insinuated the senator was a “narco” or a drug lord.

Trillanes, who filed his complaint with the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office, expressed hope the libel complaint would give Nieto a “lesson.” 

But Nieto was unfazed.

“This is where your taxes go” was how Nieto said he would start his official response to the libel complaint Trillanes had filed against him.

As usual, Nieto took to ThinkingPinoy to respond to the senator’s allegations.

“I have yet to receive a copy of Antonio ‘Sonny’ Trillanes IV’s libel complaint, but wouldn’t it be fun if it start[ed] with ‘This is where your taxes go.’?”

Nieto, who has criticized opposition lawmakers through his Facebook posts, also said: “The [C]onstitution should be amended to require psychiatric tests for senators.”

Trillanes accuses Nieto of libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and of violations of the libel provisions of the Revised Penal Code as his Facebook post last October 31, 2016, allegedly met all the qualifications for the criminal act.

According to the law, an act may be considered libelous if it imputes a crime, vice or defect, whether real or imaginary, to a person.

“Having posted in the Facebook account of respondent Nieto in the internet, this malicious imputation was published far and wide and all over the world,” Trillanes said in his complaint.

As of Nov. 21, 2017, he said, Nieto’s post had received 62,000 reactions and was shared 15,759 times

Trillanes said Nieto’s claim constituted ‘fake news’.” He said the social media post failed to cite the news outfit that purportedly interviewed  US President Donald Trump.

In fact, he said, The Philippine Star verified Nieto’s article and came out with a news piece titled “No Trump mention of Trillanes.”

“Being a very vocal and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, of whom respodnent  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.

“Since respondent Nieto caused the publication of the derogatory post through the electronic medium (i.e., using a computer system), respondent is clearly guilty of the cybercrime offense of LIBEL as defined and penalized under the Cybercrime Prevention Act.” 

Trillanes seeks P1 million each for moral and exemplary damages and P250,000 to cover attorney fees.

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