Jonson family calls on Duterte for justice


Visual artist Bree Jonson, who was found lifeless last Sept. 18 in a La Union resort, has been brought to her final resting place at Davao Memorial Cemetery just this week.

‘Come to her funeral’

Prior to that, Sally Jonson, mother of Bree, extended an invitation to her daughter’s beau and last known companion, billionaire scion Julian Ongpin, to attend her funeral in Davao.

“If he claims he is my daughter’s boyfriend and he says he loved her, see her lifeless there in the casket,” she reportedly said. “Ask yourself what happened. You were the last person with her. What did you do?”

According to Sally, she knew nothing of Ongpin or of his relationship with her daughter until news of the death reached her. However, she was told by “other people” that he was “a bad guy, a violent person.”

“I don’t want to conclude but now I know he was caught with drugs, my daughter was already dragged into this mess. I don’t think she was (Julian’s) source of drugs. It’s too expensive,” she said.

‘Not just my fight’

In a televised interview, Sally Jonson said: “He tested positive for drug use, he was found in illegal possession of 12.6 (grams) cocaine, that alone is the case.”

“It is not just my fight, it’s the fight of the country, it’s everybody’s fight, it is Rodrigo’s (Duterte) fight, the fight of the ‘droga’.”

Under the law, particularly the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the possession of over 10 grams of illegal drugs is punishable with life imprisonment and is considered a non-bailable offense.

Meanwhile, Bree Jonson’s cousin, Jill Villanueva Palarca, took to social media, calling on Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, saying: “What we need is your power. Please, do something, say something. This was your father’s campaign banner in 2016.”

Earlier, President Duterte ordered a probe into the artist’s death, telling the DOJ to “accord the victim justice.”

The family has previously disputed the claim that Bree took her own life in the bathroom of their rented room at Flotsam & Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel, as what Ongpin claimed. The family’s lawyer, Em announced that they are mulling “filing a motion for reconsideration” over the provincial prosecutor Braulio Tade’s decision to release Ongpin from custody.

Salandanan also believed that the police’s report on Jonson’s death was “inconsistent” the medico-legal report said that Jonson’s body showed bruises on the arms and back, but in earlier reports, there appeared no indications that she struggled apart from the ligature marks on her neck it further said that Jonson died from strangulation or asphyxia (loss of air), which appeared intentional.

The Department of Justice had recently taken charge of the preliminary investigation against Ongpin in connection with the complaint of possession of illegal drugs, but not regarding Jonson’s death.

After the billionaire’s son’s arrest in connection with the 12.6 grams of cocaine found in their hostel room, the prosecutor had decided against filing criminal charges and opted for a preliminary investigation as Ongpin’s arrest was “warrantless.” Ilocos Regional police chief Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta explained that they had to follow the prosecutor’s decision lest they be charged with arbitrary detention.

The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, denied allegations that they were “de facto” lawyers for Ongpin, after Sally said that they were favoring the suspect’s camp.

Jonson was discovered unconscious in a room in La Union resort Flotsam Jetsam on Sept. 18 and was rushed to a San Fernando City hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

Ongpin had shared the room with her at the time.

According to reports, the pair checked in at the resort in San Juan town on Friday night (Sept. 17). After returning from a night out with friends, in the early morning, hostel staff disclosed that they heard the pair having an argument, prompting them to call the police, who found the artist unconscious.

Photo: Rappler

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