The verdict on the case of Julian Ongpin, son of Marcos-era trade minister Roberto Ongpin, is in.
The Department of Justice charged him with possession of 12.6 grams of cocaine (an illegal drug), which is a non-bailable offense under the law. The drugs were discovered together with the lifeless body of his girlfriend, visual artist Bree Jonson, whose death he is implicated in. Ongpin was her last known companion in Flotsam and Jetsam hostel in La Union.
“The criminal information against Mr. Ongpin will be filed at the Regional Trial Court, San Fernando City, La Union. The same information also states that the offense is non-bailable,” read a press briefer prepared by the DOJ.
Department secretary Menardo Guevarra said that Ongpin should cooperate with the drug case.
“It is best for the accused to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court so that he will have all the time and opportunity to defend himself in a fair and impartial trial,” Guevarra continued.
However, no information yet is known about which court or judge will handle his case.
At present, the La Union judge may opt to issue an arrest warrant against him. Should he be arrested, Ongpin will be allowed to post bail for the remainder of his trial. According to their lawyers, Jonson’s family, particularly her mother Salome, hope that the regional judge decides in favor of an arrest warrant against Ongpin.
The La Union judge earlier issued a precautionary hold departure order (PHDO) due to the drug charge, which would allow prosecutors to seek a hold departure order (HDO) before charges are filed in court.
There has been some speculation as to the cause of death of Jonson, with some stories suggesting that it was suicide. The medico-legal report indicated that she died of asphyxia.