Breanna Jonson’s family welcomes DOJ’s filing of criminal case vs. Julian Ongpin

Published October 19, 2021, 4:01 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Breanna ‘Bree’ Jonson

The family of the late artist Breanna “Bree” Jonson — who died last Sept. 18 in San Juan, La Union — welcomed the filing of a non-bailable criminal case against Julian Roberto S. Ongpin for alleged possession of 12.6 grams of cocaine, a prohibited drug.

In a statement, the Sunga, Salandanan and Ampuan Law Offices – the lawyers of the Jonson family – said: “They are looking forward to the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Julian for this case.”

The case against Julian for alleged violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, was filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, Oct. 19, before the regional trial court (RTC) in San Fernando City in La Union.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said: “The judge to whom the case will be raffled will first determine the existence of probable cause based on the records submitted to the court by the DOJ panel of state prosecutors.”

“If the judge finds probable cause, he/she will issue a warrant of arrest,” he added.

“It is best for the accused to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court so that he will have all the time and opportunity to defend himself in a fair and impartial trial,” he added.

Based on the Supreme Court’s website, there are six branches of RTCs in San Fernando City in La Union.

Julian has been a person of interest in the Sept. 18 death of Breanna. He and Breanna checked in at a hotel in San Juan, La Union last Sept. 17. In the morning of Sept. 18, Breanna was found “motionless” inside the hotel room and was declared dead in a hospital.

The police recovered 12.6 grams of cocaine inside the room the couple occupied. Julian was arrested. The police report stated that both Julian and Breanna tested positive for use of cocaine.

The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of La Union started the investigation of Julian on police’s charge of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. It ordered the release of Julian for further investigation.

Later, Guevarra ordered the transfer of the preliminary investigation to the DOJ in Manila. A panel of prosecutors conducted the probe and issued a resolution to charge Julian with illegal possession of dangerous drugs.

Guevarra had also ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Breanna’s death.