Jonson-Ongpin case: CCTV footage shows ‘spat’

Ghio Ong, Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
Jonson-Ongpin case: CCTV footage shows âspatâ
Screengrab from CCTV footage released yesterday by the Philippine National Police shows Bree Jonson and Julian Ongpin in a supposed altercation hours before she was found dead in La Union.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) released yesterday closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showing virtual artist Bree Jonson and Julian Ongpin in an apparent altercation outside a room at a resort in La Union hours before she was found dead on Sept. 18

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar, who presented the footage at a press briefing, said the video came from the Police Regional Office 1, which is investigating Jonson’s death.

Based on CCTV footage, Eleazar said Ongpin went outside the hostel room and sat down on the stairs while drinking red wine.

Jonson then followed Ongpin and talked to him. She drank wine and returned to the room “like they were having an altercation,” Eleazar said.

“Kagaya nang sinabi natin, wala naman tayong conclusion. This was just taken from the last part of the video when they were together,” Eleazar said. “So what happened inside the room, wala pa tayong conclusion.”

According to Eleazar, there was no sign of struggle based on the footage.

Lawyers for Jonson’s family, however, insisted that she struggled for her life despite the claim of Ongpin that he tried to save her from taking her own life.

In a statement, the Sunga, Salandanan and Ampuan Law Office said the autopsy performed on Jonson’s remains showed that she resisted.

The law firm said they would get a copy of the footage of the last interaction between Jonson and Ongpin outside of their room.

“Based on what we saw, they had a heated altercation minutes before she was found unconscious,” the lawyers said.

Earlier, the PNP said the autopsy conducted by the Ilocos police last Tuesday revealed that Jonson died of asphyxia or loss of oxygen as seen from ligature marks on her neck.

NBI autopsy

The law firm said it requested for a second autopsy on Jonson’s body to be performed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“Yes, NBI forensic experts conducted a second autopsy. The results are being carefully reviewed,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said yesterday.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said they might decide next week if the drug charges filed against Ongpin could be transferred to Manila.

NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said they intend to coordinate their probe with the Ilocos police investigators as they were the first responders at the scene.

The 29-year-old Ongpin, son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin, was detained on drug charges after at least 12.6 grams of cocaine were found in the room where Jonson was found dead.

Ongpin was released by the Ilocos prosecutor’s office pending preliminary investigation of the case, the DOJ said.

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