Zambales prosecutor junks refiled raps vs ‘Kill Duterte’ teacher


Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) – February 21, 2021 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Sedition charges filed against a public school teacher who supposedly offered a P50-million bounty on President Duterte’s head last year has been dismissed by the Zambales Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

The case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Ronnel Mas was actually dismissed twice on the basis of “lack of probable cause,” as stated in the seven-page resolution issued by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor JT Leonardo Santos last Feb. 16.

The NBI arrested Mas on May 11, 2020, identifying him as the Twitter account holder of @RonPrince that allegedly posted this seditious tweet against the President: “I will give 50 million reward kung sino makakapatay kay Duterte #NotoABSCBNShutdown.”

In English, it said: “I will give 50 million reward to anyone who kills Duterte.”

The NBI, represented by head agent Rizaldy Jaymalin, charged the teacher with inciting to sedition, but failed to comply with the aspect of investigation and gathering of data that would have led to a clear identification of the perpetrator and to an effective prosecution.

Supposed to have been attached to the complaint to establish probable cause was a compact disc (CD) reportedly containing the ABS-CBN video footage of the Mas interview in which he allegedly owned up to the tweet, but this piece of evidence could not be found.

During the preliminary investigation on Dec. 1, 2020, the NBI failed to present a reply-affidavit and asked for extended time to produce the CD.

The prosecutor granted the request until Dec. 15, but the NBI failed to appear before him on the said date.

Prosecutor Santos said, “The resolution must stand that the complaint failed to prove the identity of the perpetrator. This case is covered by the Rules on Electric Evidence. Hence, authentication is necessary.”



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