Agents of National Bureau Investigation, Dagupan office arrested public school teacher Ronnel Mas over his tweet offering P50 million as reward to anyone who could kill President Rodrigo Duterte.
National Bureau of Investigation Public Information Office
Teacher who tweeted about 'reward' for Duterte's killing posts bail
Kristine Joy Patag ( - May 19, 2020 - 4:57pm

MANILA, Philippines —Public school teacher Ronnel Mas, who tweeted that he was offering a reward for President Rodrigo Duterte's killing, secured provisional liberty on Tuesday after posting bail bond of P72,000.

Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72 ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to release Mas after his family posted bail for the charge of inciting to sedition, in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act, filed against him.

The court set his arraignment for May 28.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers shared a copy of the court order to reporters and said Mas may get to go home on Tuesday night.

Last week, NBI Dagupan agents arrested Mas, without a warrant, over his tweet offering a P50-million reward to anyone who could kill Duterte. 

According to the Department of Education, the entry-level salary for a public school teacher was P20,754 a month in 2019.

Assistant State Prosecutor Jeanette Dacpano said in her inquest resolution that the NBI’s arrest of the public school teacher “does not fall within the ambit of warrantless arrest contemplate by the law” and that the arrest was invalid.

This, she said, was “ultimately cured” by Mas’ admission to media that he wrote and posted the assailed tweet.

Rights lawyers however countered Dacpano and said that media interviews conducted without the presence of a legal counsel do not “cure” a warrantless arrest.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines still reminded their colleagues that if they interview arrested persons without their lawyer, they “may find themselves abetting possible miscarriages of justice.”

ACT: Government will be made accountable

ACT said Mas’ release through bail sends “a powerful message that the seemingly absolute power of a repressive regime can be and will be challenged by even the most ordinary Filipinos such as Teacher Ronnel.”

The teachers’ group vowed that they will make the Duterte government accountable for their  “blatant disregard of Teacher Ronnel’s rights and freedoms when the NBI coerced him into admission, presented to and humiliated him in front of the press, and illegally detained him for eight days.”

It is unclear whether Mas was made aware of his right to counsel when he was presented to members of the media.

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