Sep 24, 2021 @ 16:49
Guevarra: DOJ to take over preliminary investigation vs Julian Ongpin
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday disclosed that the Department of Justice will take over the preliminary investigation on the drugs charges filed against Julian Ongpin, who was also a person of interest behind the death of visual artist Breanna “Bree” Jonson.
“The case has generated a lot of public interest, so I want to make sure that it is handled very well. The Prosecutor General, as head of my prosecution staff, will designate the state prosecutors who will handle the preliminary investigation of the case,” Guevarra said in a message.
The La Union Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has ordered the release of Ongpin, who was arrested for cocaine possession and for being the last person seen with Jonson, because it deemed proper to conduct a full-blown preliminary investigation into the incident.
“The case is not proper for inquest proceedings. The apprehension of the respondent does not fall under any of the instances where warrantless arrest is allowed,” the inquest resolution of the Prosecutor’s Office read.
Also, the DOJ stressed the other day that a formal preliminary investigation was necessary to give authorities more time to submit additional evidence in order to (1) prove the case for illegal drugs and (2) find out if there was foul play in Jonson’s death.
Police arrested Ongpin, 29, on Saturday in San Juan, La Union, after 12.6 grams of cocaine were found in the hotel room he and Jonson were occupying.
Ongpin was Jonson’s boyfriend and was the last companion when she was found unconscious in Flotsam & Jetsam Resort. She was brought to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival before dawn on Saturday.
The scion of Ongpin family claimed that Jonson committed suicide.
Police said Ongpin and Jonson arrived at the resort at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and were fetched by their friends at 10 p.m.
They returned to the resort at 2:58 a.m. on Saturday. At 3:30 a.m., a commotion was heard in the room occupied by the couple that lasted for approximately 15 minutes.
Footage from a security camera showed Ongpin was looking anxious as he went in and out of the room.