The son of prominent businessman Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin appeared on Friday before a panel of prosecutors at the Department of Justice to answer the illegal drugs charges filed against him by the police authorities.
Julian Roberto Ongpin has become a person of interest in the death of Filipino artist Breanna “Bree” Jonson, his girlfriend, last Sept. 18 in La Union.
Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said the young Ongpin, the son of the former trade and industry minister, has submitted his counter-affidavit for the drug complaint for possession of cocaine.
During the proceedings, Malcontento said the complainants from the Philippine National Police (PNP) submitted their supplemental affidavit and provided a copy to Ongpin.
“Respondent (Ongpin) requested time to study and answer the supplemental affidavit,” Malcontento said.
The DOJ official said the next hearing is scheduled on October 8 at 10 am for the submission of additional counter affidavits, if any, and clarificatory hearing.
“If no new matters/issues are raised by the parties, the case will be submitted for resolution,” he stressed.
The young Ongpin was arrested last September 18 after policemen found 12.6 grams of cocaine inside the San Juan, La Union hotel room where he and Breanna checked in a day before.
Breanna was found “motionless” at the hotel room at around 4:50 a.m. or 4:55 a.m. on Sept. 18 and was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead.
Both Julian and Breanna tested positive for cocaine use, the police said.
The PNP had initially filed the complaint against Ongpin before the La Union Office of the Provincial Prosecutor (OPP) for possession of illegal drugs in violation of Section 11, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
But the La Union OPP ordered the release of Julian from police custody for further investigation.
Under RA 9165, illegal possession of 10 grams or more of dangerous drugs, like cocaine, is a non-bailable offense, and punishable with life imprisonment and fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million.
Last September 24, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra issued a Department Order No. 229, which directed the transfer of the complaint from the OPP to the DOJ’s Office of the Secretary of the Prosecution Staff (OSJPS) for the conduct of the preliminary investigation.