NBI summons Ongpin over Jonson’s death

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) summoned Julian Ongpin to appear during the resumption of the probe on the death of Bree Jonson tomorrow, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said yesterday.

Guevarra said Ongpin, 29, son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin, should attend the preliminary hearing to shed light on Jonson’s death.

“He was subpoenaed to appear before the NBI on Oct. 6 and give his statement regarding the death of Bree Jonson,” Guevarra said.

Ongpin was the last person seen with Jonson before she was found unconscious in a resort room in San Juan, La Union on Sept. 18.

Jonson was pronounced dead at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center.

Police initially arrested and detained Ongpin on drug charges after probers allegedly found 12.6 grams of cocaine in his possession.

But the La Union prosecutor’s office ordered Ongpin’s release pending preliminary investigation of the case.

This prompted Guevarra to transfer the probe of Ongpin’s drug complaint to the Department of Justice main office in Manila.

Both Ongpin and Jonson tested positive for cocaine use.

‘Missing organs’

According to the lawyers for Jonson’s family, the La Union police crime laboratory, which conducted the first autopsy on the visual artist, removed some of her internal organs.

The Sunga Salandanan and Ampuan Law Offices issued the statement after some of Jonson’s organs were reportedly missing, spefically her heart and trachea.

Jonson’s mother, Sally, had requested the NBI to perform a second autopsy on her.

The law firm said it received a letter from Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory director Brig. Gen. Pascual Muñoz, denying the request to turn over Jonson’s organs to the NBI.

Jonson’s organs were turned over to the NBI after PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar intervened.

The relatives of Jonson thanked Eleazar for granting Sally’s request.

“We do not doubt General Eleazar’s desire to ferret out the truth and attain justice for Bree Jonson,” the law firm said.

On Sunday, Eleazar denied accusations that the PNP intentionally delayed the turnover of Jonson’s tissue samples and organs to the NBI.

Asked if the NBI noticed any organs of Jonson missing when it conducted the autopsy, Guevarra replied, “I have no information on this matter. Walang nabanggit sa akin ang NBI about missing organs.”

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