Eleazar welcomes DOJ decision to take over Ongpin drug case probe
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar welcomes the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take over the preliminary investigation into the complaint of illegal drug possession filed against art patron Julian Ongpin.
“The Philippine National Police welcomes the decision of Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to take over the investigation on the drug case that we filed against Julian Ongpin,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“We trust the wisdom of the DOJ in its decision,” Eleazar added.
Guevarra earlier said state prosecutors will only handle the drug complaint filed against Ongpin since this is the only complaint pending before the prosecution.
“The case has generated a lot of public interest, so I want to make sure that it is handled very well,” Guevarra told reporters on Friday.
Eleazar also said the PNP will still do its part in tracing the source of the cocaine seized from Ongpin.
Julian, son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin, was arrested after La Union policemen recovered 12.6 grams of cocaine. The cocaine was recovered in the room shared by Ongpin and painter Bree Jonson.
Jonson was found unconscious on a bed in a room at the Flotsam & Jetsam Resort in San Juan, La Union last Saturday and was later declared dead in a hospital. Ongpin was her last companion before the incident.
Ongpin alleged that Jonson took her own life, but Jonson’s family disputed this.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed an alleged altercation between Ongpin and Jonson.
Ongpin was initially arrested but was later released while the preliminary investigation is ongoing.
An immigration lookout bulletin order (ILBO) was also issued against Ongpin, to prevent him from leaving the country.
The PNP Crime Laboratory on Tuesday also finished its autopsy on Jonson. It said Jonson died of asphyxia, or impaired breathing, and was positive for cocaine.
Police Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta, chief of the Ilocos Police Regional Office also said that except for her neck, Jonson’s body is free of wounds. Police also recovered a cat chain in the room, according to Peralta.
However, the family of the 30-year old painter hinted of foul play as shown by the initial medico-legal report of the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center.
The National Bureau of Investigation is conducting a parallel investigation and had conducted another autopsy on Jonson’s body as requested by her family.
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