Julian Ongpin freed despite testing positive for 'cocaine'

Published September 21, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Ahikam Pasion

Police bared that the son of a billionaire former government official who is a person of interest behind the death of a young artist tested positive for cocaine use.

Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) regional director Brigadier General Emmanuel Peralta said in a statement that 29-year-old Julian Ongpin who was arrested and now a person of interest behind the death of Davao artist Bree Jonson failed a recent drug test.

Police, in their investigation, also recovered 12.6 grams of suspected cocaine in the hotel room Ongpin and his companion lodged. It was eventually confirmed to be genuine cocaine.

Peralta also confirmed that Ongpin, the son of property developer and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, has been charged with violation of Sec 11 and 15 of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002.

However, despite testing positive for illegal drugs, Ongpin was ordered released by the provincial prosecutor’s office.

This was confirmed by PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar.

Eleazar said the inquest prosecutor in La Union ordered the release of Ongpin pending preliminary investigation.

Jonson’s family, however, expressed dismay over the decision, and fears he may escape abroad following his release.

“Hindi lang naming maintindihan, diba it was supposed to be non-bailable, the fact that he had drugs on him (We cannot understand, it was supposed to be non-bailable, the fact that he had drugs on him” said Jill Palarca, Bree Jonson’s cousin, and family spokesperson.

Palarca said the family was surprised, but are yet to receive an explanation behind the release of Ongpin.

DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, in a separate statement, said the department will issue an immigration lookout bulletin order, as per request from Bree Jonson’s mother, Sally.

Meanwhile, results of Bree’s autopsy are yet to be released.

Palarca said they decide their next move once they have received the results.