An investigation into the death of 30-year old artist Bree Jonson was ordered Tuesday by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar. Jonson was found unconscious in a San Juan, La Union hostel Saturday morning and was declared dead on arrival after she was brought by police to a La Union hospital.
According to a PNP news brief, Eleazar tasked the Regional Director of Police Regional Office 1, PBGen Emmanuel Peralta, to look into the circumstances that led to the death of Jonson as her family await the autopsy report. The same brief identifies the popular Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel in San Juan as the hostel where Jonson was found unconscious Saturday.
“Her companion and boyfriend, Julian Ongpin, told the local police that it was a case of suicide,” the PNP brief says. The 29-year old Ongpin, son of prominent tycoon Roberto Ongpin, was arrested after police found cocaine in the room he shared with Jonson.
“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,” Eleazar said. According to the PNP brief, some 12.6 grams of illegal drugs was seized from the hostel room.
“Sa aking huling pakikipag-usap sa RD, PRO1 PBGEN Emmanuel Peralta, nagdesisyon ang Provincial Prosecutor’s Office na palayain si Ginoong Ongpin habang ini-imbestigahan ang kaso,” Eleazar added.
The PNP says it’s just waiting for Jonson’s autopsy results in case additional charges need to be filed against Ongpin.
Eleazar said he had assigned all concerned PNP units “to coordinate to ensure the availability of Ongpin as the investigation is still on-going on the death of Jonson.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Dept is expected to issue an immigration lookout bulletin order versus Ongpin, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. Since the complaint against him is still at prosecutor level, the DOJ will be asking the court for a "precautionary hold departure order.”
Guevarra says he has "directed the NBI to assist the PNP in conducting the investigation or to do a parallel probe, as may be needed" on Jonson's death.
DOJ Usec Emmeline Aglipay-Villar clarifies the inquest prosecutor in La Union has decided to conduct regular preliminary investigation to give law enforcers chance to submit more evidence to prove possession of dangerous drugs (cocaine) and to probe if there was foul play.
With report from Mike Navallo