PNP chief wants review of procedure in Ongpin drug case


Posted at Nov 16 2021 12:12 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2021 02:34 PM

MANILA - The newly-installed chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said there will be a review on why police failed to follow procedure that led to the junking of the drug case against Julian Ongpin, son of one of the Philippines’ prominent tycoons.

“We will look back, we will investigate how come this case was dismissed based on mishandling of the evidence. We will review,” said Police Lt. Gen. Dionardo Carlos.

On ANC’s Rundown, Carlos said the investigation will look into the possible failure of the investigator to follow procedure and hold them accountable for it.

“We’ll look if the procedures were followed, if the investigators or the evidence custodian failed to follow the procedure then we'll make him responsible. We'll make him answer for the mistake. For the rest of the cases, we handle it by case. We always look at each case that’s why ganun ang ginagawa natin,” he said.

The San Fernando City, La Union Regional Trial Court Branch 27 based the dismissal of the case against Ongpin on the police’s failure to comply with the chain of custody requirements under section 21 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (RA 9165). 

Section 21 requires authorities to conduct an inventory of the seized illegal drugs in the presence of the accused or his/her representative or counsel with witnesses from the media or the Department of Justice and any elected public official. 

The court found that police failed to comply with the first stage in the chain of custody rule on marking of evidence.

“We continue to review if there are problems in these cases and if we find a mistake or a violation of procedures then we make them answer,” he said.

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Last October, the Department of Justice filed a non-bailable criminal case of possession of dangerous drugs against Ongpin for reported violation of section 11 of RA 9165. Authorities said 12 grams of cocaine were recovered from the hostel room Ongping was staying in last September in La Union.

Ongpin has denied owning or possessing the pouch where the cocaine was recovered. 

Ongpin, son of business magnate Roberto Ongpin, is also being investigated for the death of his girlfriend, artist Bree Jonson. He was the last person seen with Jonson when her body was found on Sept. 18 at the same hostel.