The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed before the regional trial court (RTC) in San Fernando City in La Union on Tuesday, Oct. 19, a non-bailable case for illegal possession of dangerous drugs against Julian Roberto S. Ongpin, son former Trade and Industry Minister Roberto V. Ongpin.
Assistant State Prosecutor honey Rose E. Delgado, spokesperson of the DOJ’s Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG), confirmed the filing of the case.
Julian was charged with violation of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Section 11, Article II of RA 9165 imposes a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million for possession of 10 grams or more of dangerous drugs such as cocaine.
Julian has been a person of interest in the Sept. 18 death of artist Breanna “Bree” Jonson. 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.
Later, Justice Secretary Menardo I. 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.
“We don’t know yet kung saan branch ng RTC po siya mararaffle (We don’t know yet to which RTC branch the case will be raffled),” Delgado said.
Based on the Supreme Court’s website, there are six branches of RTCs in San Fernando City in La Union. Under the rules, the case against Julian has to be raffled to a judge who will handle the case. The judge has to determine probable cause and if there is, a warrant of arrest will be issued against Julian.
Delgado said the San Fernando City RTC had earlier issued a precautionary hold departure order (PHDO) against Julian. The order, that would ban Julian’s departure from the country, will be enforced unless lifted by the court.