The son of bilyonaryo Bobby Ongpin has been released from police custody despite facing illegal drug charges amid the ongoing investigation into the death of his girlfriend, artist Bree Jonson.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday (Sept. 21) said the inquest prosecutor of La Union ordered the release of Julian Ongpin pending preliminary investigation of the case.
“The transfer of the case to another jurisdiction is under consideration and will be discussed with the Regional Prosecutor and the Secretary of Justice,” he said in a statement.
The provincial prosecutor assumed jurisdiction of the case involving Ongpin since 12.6 grams of cocaine were found in the room he shared with Jonson at the Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel in San Juan.
Jonson was found unconscious when police arrived at the resort following reports of a ruckus in the couple’s bedroom. She was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
Guevarra said the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of La Union has yet to start its regular preliminary investigation into the case to secure additional evidence and “further prove the case for possession of dangerous drugs.”
Authorities will also seek to establish if there was foul play involved.
The police earlier confirmed that Ongpin tested positive for illegal drugs.
Guevarra said the DOJ would issue an immigration lookout bulletin order against Ongpin to keep him in the country pending the investigation, and that it may consider a hold departure order later on.