A JOURNALIST critical of the government of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday pleaded “not guilty” of tax fraud.
Maria Ressa, chief executive of news website Rappler, Inc. was arraigned at a Pasig trial court for one of her five tax-related charges.
She was accused of failing to supply correct information over deficiency value-added tax for the second quarter of 2015 worth almost P300,000.
The charge sheet had been amended to include the company Rappler, Ms. Ressa said in a social media post. Ms. Ressa, a former CNN investigative reporter, also faces three tax evasion charges at the Court of Tax Appeals.
She and former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos, Jr. were convicted of cyber-libel by a Manila judge last month.
They were sentenced to an indeterminate imprisonment of six months to six years and were ordered to pay P400,000 in moral and exemplary damages to the businessman who sued them. They
have appealed their conviction. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas