PNP: Julian Ongpin no longer person of interest in Bree Jonson case

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
PNP: Julian Ongpin no longer person of interest in Bree Jonson case
File photo shows Julian Ongpin.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Julian Ongpin, the son of property developer and former trade secretary Robert Ongpin, is no longer a person of interest in the death of painter Bree Jonson, the chief of the Philippine National Police said Monday.

This is because, the PNP said, "police investigation yielded no sign of foul play to the incident." Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos, PNP chief, said this in a statement as he assured the public that the PNP would cooperate with the Department of Justice in its probe into the matter. 

“We will advise PRO1 and the Forensic Group to respond to the request of DOJ regarding the DNA Report. Rest assured that we will cooperate with DOJ, should there be additional queries and requests for documents,” Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos said.

This comes after La Union trial court Judge Romeo Agacita Jr. dismissed the possession of illegal drugs against Ongpin, saying the court was constrained to dismiss the complaint for lack of probable cause to issue warrant of arrest against Ongpin, “in view of the utter non-compliance of the requirements" of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

READ: Ilocos police to seek reconsideration of junked drug raps vs Julian Ongpin

Ongpin was the last person to see Jonson alive before the latter was found dead in a hostel in San Juan, La Union where the two shared a room together. The two tested positive for drug use according to local police. Drug possession is a non-bailable offense.

CCTV footage released by the PNP shows Ongpin and Jonson having a supposed altercation outside their room before Jonson's body was found. Jonson's family has also questioned the scratches visible on Ongpin's arm in photos taken after the incident.

But police officials were quick to adopt Ongpin's narrative that the marks were caused by nails on the window of the bathroom where he claims Jonson tried to commit suicide. Almost immediately after Ongpin's initial arrest, the La Union prosecutor’s office also ordered his release pending preliminary investigation.

Police Regional Office 1 has since filed a motion for reconsideration on the junked drug case.

Philstar.com sought comment from the Jonson family. This story will be updated with their response. — with a report from Kristine Joy Patag 


This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: December 4, 2021 - 1:12pm

Follow this page for development on the death of Filipino artist Bree Jonson. Photo lifted from Bree Jonson's Instagram account.

December 4, 2021 - 1:12pm

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the NBI investigation on the death of artist Bree Jonson has been stalled.

"Our agents have a pending application for search warrant to secure forensic evidence (the judge is on extended leave). They are also waiting for the PNP response to their requests for clarification on the PNP’s DNA report," says Guevarra. — The STAR/Robertzon Ramirez

October 18, 2021 - 3:28pm

State prosecutors resolve to indict Julian Ongpin, the last known companion of the late artist Bree Jonson, for possession of dangerous drugs under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

In a case briefer sent by Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar to reporters, the offense is non-bailable.

"The criminal information against Mr. Ongpin will be filed at the Regional Trial Court, San Fernando City, La Union," the cases briefer reads.

September 23, 2021 - 2:38pm

Julian Ongpin tells police he forced his way into the bathroom where he found artist Bree Jonson unconscious.

According to a report from ABS-CBN News, Ongpin claims that he broke through the bathroom door, where Jonson supposedly locked herself in.

Security footage released by the police shows Ongpin appeared to have an altercation with Jonson.

September 22, 2021 - 11:42am

The Philippine National says artist Bree Jonson tested positive for drug use based on the result of the test conducted by forensics experts.

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