Guevarra: NBI probe of Jonson death stalled

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Guevarra: NBI probe of Jonson death stalled
Photo shows painter Bree Jonson who was found unconscious in a hostel room in San Juan, La Union.
Bree Jonson on Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)’s probe of visual artist Bree Jonson’s death has been stalled, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said yesterday.

“Our agents have a pending application for a search warrant to secure forensic evidence,” Guevarra said in a Viber message when asked for updates on the NBI’s investigation.

The application for a search warrant is pending before a La Union trial court, with the judge handling Jonson’s case on extended leave, Guevarra said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) chief did not name the judge.

Guevarra added that the NBI is also awaiting the response of the Philippine National Police to its requests for clarification on the PNP’s DNA report.

Jonson was found unconscious last September in a hostel room she shared with Julian Ongpin, whom police said is a person of interest in her death. Ongpin is a son of business magnate and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin.

Police filed a charge of illegal drug possession against Ongpin after more than 12 grams of cocaine were recovered from the room he shared with Jonson. Both Ongpin and Jonson tested positive for cocaine.

The DOJ indicted Ongpin and formally filed the case before La Union Regional Trial Court Branch 27 Judge Romeo Agacita Jr., who dismissed the case for lack of probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest against Ongpin.

The judge has granted the DOJ’s motion for reconsideration and set the presentation of evidence on Dec. 7.



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