THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 54 in Bacolod City has entered a not guilty plea for Bryan Ta-ala after he refused to file any plea during his arraignment on November 16.

Ta-ala appeared before Judge Eduardo Sayson of RTC Branch 54 during his arraignment around 8:30 a.m., Leon Moya Jr., Ta-ala’s legal counsel, told SunStar Bacolod on Thursday.

Though he (Ta-ala) did not enter any plea, the court entered a plea of not guilty for him, Moya added.

Ta-ala is facing a criminal case for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act after he yielded a box containing smuggled gun parts from the United States worth P4.5 million.

Ta-ala was linked to the alleged assassination plot of President Rodrigo Duterte and was arrested together with his aide in Barangay Tangub on August 6.

Sayson issued an arrest warrant for illegal possession of firearms against Ta-ala, with no bail recommended.

He was committed to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Barangay Handumanan on November 8 after he surrendered to the police.

On September 8, Ta-ala posted a total bail of P200,000 for separate gun smuggling charges.

After the arraignment, Ta-ala will face the court in a pre-trial investigation.