NBI arrests teacher for online post offering ₱50M for Duterte slay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — A public school teacher whose online post offered a ₱50 million reward to anyone who would kill President Rodrigo Duterte is now under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities on Tuesday said Ronnel Mas, 25, was arrested a day earlier in Barangay North Poblacion, Sta. Cruz, Zambales after posting on Twitter that “I will give ₱50 Million reward kung sino makakapatay kay Duterte (to anyone who can kill Duterte)."

The NBI said Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor immediately ordered its Dagupan District Office to track down and arrest Mas, a social sciences teacher at Taltal National High School.

"Operatives of DADO then began to track subject MAS' whereabouts by tracing the links of the comments on his post. After determining his possible location, operatives of DADO lost no time and rushed to Barangay Poblacion North in Sta. Cruz, Zambales and coordinated with barangay officials resulting in the arrest of [the] subject," the NBI said in a statement.

Mas was brought to the NBI head office in Manila where he is set to face inquest proceedings for inciting to sedition in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials.

Mas has since apologized for his tweet against the President, but Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said this does not mean he can escape criminal responsibility.

"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'," Guevarra said in a statement.

The NBI said it is "serious in carrying out its mandate to pursue cases involving threats to security or assaults against the person of the President," as well as other government officials.