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Duterte-critic journalist pleads not guilty in Philippine tax case

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Embattled Philippine journalist Maria Ressa pleaded not guilty Wednesday to tax evasion, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s government faced growing calls to drop all charges …
Embattled Philippine journalist Maria Ressa pleaded not guilty Wednesday to tax evasion, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s government faced growing calls to drop all charges against the veteran reporter. Ressa,56, and her news site Rappler have been the target of a series of criminal charges and probes after publishing stories critical of Duterte’s policies, including his drug war that has killed thousands. The award-winning former CNN journalist is on bail pending an appeal against a cyber libel conviction last month for which she faces up to six years in jail. Ex-Rappler journalist Reynaldo Santos was also found guilty in that case. Philippine President Duterte recently signed an anti-terrorism law that many fear will be used to silence dissent and threaten press freedoms Ted ALJIBE, AFP/File In a video on Twitter after the hearing, Ressa said she pleaded not guilty to tax evasion — one of five tax-related charges she faces — in the capital Manila. Her application to quash the charge was rejected by the judge and Rappler was added to the charge sheet, she said. Ressa, who is also a US citizen, is accused of providing incorrect information for a company tax return involving nearly 300,000 pesos ($6,000) in 2015, Rappler reported.

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