File photo of teacher Ronnel Mas during his arrest by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation last year. (Photo courtesy by BenarNews)
By Benjamin Cuaresma
OLONGAPO CITY, PAMPANGA — Acting provincial prosecutor Jose Teodoro Leonardo Cabrera Santos has again dismissed — for the third time — the motion for reconsideration filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Ronnel Mas, the teacher who was arrested without a warrant after allegedly offering last year a P50 million reward to anyone who would kill President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to the provincial prosecutor’s office, the motion for reconsideration was denied the third time due to lack of probable cause.
In a statement, it was explained that “it is not that a crime has not been committed that the case has been dismissed (but) the insufficiency of evidence to prove that indeed the respondent is the perpetrator of the crime.
Moreover, it added that the NBI failed to provide enough evidence that it was Mas who owned the Twitter account @RonPrince_, in which the bounty offer was posted over the social media app.
The NBI’s failure happened, it likewise clarified, despite the NBI submitting a CD of Mas’ supposed confession to the media which was not officially authenticated.
The NBI, however, was notified that in spite of their failure for the required quantum of evidence required in a preliminary investigation, the agency can refile the case with sufficient documents and evidence to establish probable cause.
This is the third time that the NBI has lost in its attempt to charge the public school teacher with incitement to sedition.
Santos had already also dismissed the complaint last February due to lack of probable cause and in June 2020, the Olongapo court dismissed the first inciting to sedition charge.
Judge Richard Paradeza of the Olongapo City RTC Branch 72 ruled that Mas was illegally arrested and ordered his release.
According to Mas’ lawyer, Dino de Leon, the third loss should now be considered by the NBI as a sign for them to finally accept defeat.
As a final note, the prosecutor’s office advised the NBI to stop harassing teacher Ronnel.
“The officers concerned should be reminded that President Duterte’s term is about to end, but their administrative and criminal accountability for their illegal actions remain. I urge them to observe the rule of law and to move on,” it concluded. (ai/mtvn)