Public school teacher Ronnel Mas begs for forgiveness after he was arrested by the NBI for posting on social media a P50-million reward to anyone who can kill President Duterte./ Edd Gumban
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — Elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Dagupan District Office have arrested a teacher who offered a P50-million bounty on his Twitter account to anyone who would kill President Duterte.
NBI Dagupan District Office director Rizaldy Jaymalin told The STAR that they arrested on Monday Twitter user “@RonPrince,” also known as 25-year-old public school teacher Ronnel Mas from Santa Cruz, Zambales.
Jaymalin said Mas posted the offer on his Twitter account on May 5, which immediately got several reactions.
“I will give 50 Million reward kung sino makakapatay kay (to whoever would kill) Duterte. #NotoABSCBNShutDown,” read his tweet.
According to Jaymalin, Mas was already being threatened by some netizens, prompting him to immediately delete the tweet. However, screenshots of his post began to circulate on Facebook and Twitter.
The NBI was able to get in touch with at least four different Facebook users who pointed to Mas as the one who posted the controversial tweet.
“Allegedly, he merely wanted to be popular so he made that tweet,” Jaymalin said.
The district director explained that initially, Mas strongly denied the post and said that his account was hacked. He even destroyed his iPhone, thinking that it would remove any evidence pointing to him.
Jaymalin said that Mas had become depressed over the past days due to threats he had been receiving.
Mas was brought to the Department of Justice for inquest at around 3 p.m. yesterday to face charges of inciting to sedition related to Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and violation of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, according to NBI public information chief Nick Suarez.
A social studies teacher at the Taltal National High School in Zambales, Mas was in tears and apologetic as he was being taken to Manila after his arrest.
However, Justice Secretary Menandro Guevarra said Mas’ apology does not extinguish his criminal liability.
“Apology is not one of the grounds for extinguishing criminal liability. I cannot feloniously injure another and get away with it by merely saying sorry,” he added.
Higher penalties for perjury
Meanwhile, during the amendment period for Senate Bill No. 1354 which seeks to give more teeth to the Revised Penal Code provisions for perjury and false testimonies and end the culture of lying under oath, Sen. Richard Gordon said the penalties will be increased by two degrees to deter individuals from falsely imputing or incriminating other people.
Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, earlier said witnesses or resource persons who lie during Senate inquiries or hearings will have to answer to the proposed amendments to the perjury law. – Rey Galupo, Evelyn Macairan, Cecille Suerte Felipe / Eva Visperas – The Philippine Star
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