The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday assured prompt investigation into a high-profile case being tackled by the agency and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the assurance on the ongoing investigation into the death of artist Breana Patricia Jonson-Agunod and the subsequent arrest and release of Julian Roberto Ongpin, the victim’s boyfriend and 29-year-old son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin, on Saturday.
The 30-year-old also known as Bree Jonson was found unconscious while Ongpin was arrested – but eventually released — after 12.6 grams of cocaine were found inside their room in a resort in San Juan, La Union.
He also tested positive for illegal drug use.
“On 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 told the media via text message.
He said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento will issue updates on the case.
Guevarra’s office has also received the request of Jonson’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, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, has also 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.
“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. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)