By Jeffrey Damicog and MB Online
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested in Pangasinan a teacher who posted on Twitter an offer of P50-million reward to anyone who could kill President Duterte.
In a GMA News report, NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed the arrest of the 25-year-old teacher suspect, identified as Ronnel Mas.
The suspect is set to undergo inquest proceedings, Lavin said.
“Nagso-sorry po ako kay President Rodrigo Duterte. Hindi ko po intensyon ‘yun. ‘Yung tweet na ‘yun kumbaga saloobin ko lang kaso walang pumapansin, kaya nagawa ko ‘yun,” the teacher said in a video posted by the arresting NBI agents.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, for his part, said Mas will not easily get off the hook despite his apology.
“Apology is not one of the grounds for extinguishing criminal liability,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday, May 12, concerning the apology made by Mas.
“I cannot feloniously injure another and get away with it by merely saying ‘sorry’,” the Secretary explained.
On the other hand, Guevarra assured that “the rights of the person arrested will be respected at all times, including his right to counsel.”
The Secretary said he will leave it up to the inquest prosecutor to determine if charges will be filed in court against Mas.
Meanwhile, NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor has assured that the NBI will carry out its mandate under Republic Act 10867, the NBI Reorganization and Modernization Act, in cases involving threats against the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Distor said Mas was presented for inquest on Tuesday afternoon before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila for allegedly inciting to sedition in relation to Republic Act 10175, the Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012 and for violating RA 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials.
The teacher was arrested at his home in Barangay North Poblacion in Sta. Cruz, Zambales last Monday, May 11, by agents of the NBI’s Dagupan District Office (NBI-DADO).
The arrest was made after Mas posted on his Twitter account the statement: “I will give P50 Million reward kung sino makakapatay kay Duterte (I will give a P50 million reward to anyone who can kill Duterte).”
Following the posting, the NBI immediately tracked the whereabouts of the teacher.
Mas, who teaches social studies at the Taltal National High School, will remain in the custody at the NBI headquarters in Manila.