Billionaire Roberto Ongpin’s son held for drugs as partner dies in La Union hotel room 

JULIAN ROBERTO ONGPIN: Is the cocaine-influenced Ongpin to be blamed for her girlfriend's death in La Union?

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, La Union – Noted young artist Bree Jonson has died at a hospital in La Union where she was rushed following the discovery of her body inside a hotel with her boyfriend, a son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin.
It was initially reported that Jonson, 30, had committed suicide but this was disputed by witnesses considering that Julian Ongpin, 29, was found to be in possession of cocaine and he was tested positive later for illegal drugs. Witnesses said there was commotion in the couple’s room before the discovery of Jonson’s body.
Ongpin was detained but was released later reportedly on bail, prompting many to criticize the  Philippine National Police and the provincial fiscal handling the case, considering that sachets of cocaine were found in their room during the investigation.
Ongpin’s release was also questioned by Jonson’s Canada-based mother Soledad who asked the Department of Justice to issued a hold-departure order for Ongpin, which the DOJ promptly granted through the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation.
Soledad also said she could not believe on reports that her daughter would commit suicide as Ongpin painted it. She said that her daughter was so happy when she talked to her prior to the incident as she was preparing for a big solo exhibit where most of her works she said had already been sold.

The Leon Gallery called Jonson’s passing a “major loss to Philippine art.” Jonson was about to set up her own studio in La Union where she has produced outstanding works.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar assured through investigation into the high-profile case.

Guevarra made the assurance on the ongoing investigation into the death of  Jonson and the subsequent arrest and release of Julian Ongpin.

The 30-year-old Jonson was found unconscious while Ongpin was arrested – but eventually released — after cocaine was found inside their room in a resort in San Juan, La Union.
“From my end, I just want to assure everyone that this matter will be investigated thoroughly to find out the truth and to ensure that justice will be done,” Guevarra said.
He said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento will issue updates on the case.

Guevarra’s office has also received the request of Johnson’s mother, Salome, to place Ongpin in the immigration lookout bulletin order.

“Considering that charges for violation of the Dangerous Drugs law have been filed against Julian Ongpin, the DOJ will issue an immigration lookout bulletin order against him. The DOJ may further consider asking the court for the issuance of a preliminary hold-departure order depending on the progress of the preliminary investigation,” Guevarra said.

Guevarra, quoting Malcontento, said there is no formal request yet for the transfer of the case to another jurisdiction, although there have been discussions with the regional prosecutor and the National Bureau of Investigation.

“If at all, it’s not really a transfer of jurisdiction because in criminal cases, jurisdiction lies in the place where the offense was committed. It may only be a case of a prosecutor in another place being designated to conduct the preliminary investigation as acting prosecutor for the place where the offense was committed,” he said.

PNP chief Eleazar has  ordered Police Regional Office 1 Director, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta, to look into all the circumstances that led to the death of Jonson, who hails from Davao.

Ongpin reportedly told the local police that Jonson committed suicide.

Nasampahan na ng kaukulang kasong may kinalaman sa iligal na droga ang kasintahan ni Bree Jonson na si Julian Ongpin matapos itong mag-positibo sa drug test at makuhanan ng cocaine sa kanilang inuupahang kuwarto sa isang resort sa La Union. Sa aking huling pakikipag-usap sa RD (Regional Director), PRO1 PBGen Emmanuel Peralta, nagdesisyon ang Provincial Prosecutor’s Office na palayain si Ginoong Ongpin habang ini-imbestigahan ang kaso (We have filed the appropriate cases after cocaine was recovered from the hotel room. I understand the prosecutor ordered Mr. Ongpin’s release in the meantime while the preliminary investigation is ongoing),” Eleazar said in a statement.

Local police seized some 12.6 grams of illegal drugs.

Hinihintay lamang ng inyong PNP ang pagsasagawa at ang resulta ng autopsy sa mga labi ni Binibining Jonson upang malaman kung may karagdagang kaso na isasampa laban sa kanyang kasintahan (We are awaiting the results of the autopsy on Ms. Jonson to determine whether we should file additional charges against her boyfriend),” Eleazar added.

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