MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said the preliminary investigation into the case of Julian Ongpin may soon be transferred to the agency’s main office in Manila.
“The possible transfer of the case to the DOJ head office for the conduct of the preliminary investigation by state prosecutors is now under consideration,” Guevarra told reporters.
Guevarra, however, said he cannot discuss the merits of the case as it may eventually reach the Office of the Secretary.
The San Juan, La Union police charged Ongpin, 29, the son of billionaire and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, after drugs were recovered at a hotel where he was staying. Julian subsequently tested positive for cocaine.
The local handling prosecutor, however, ordered his release while the case remains pending.
The police had gone to the Flotsam Jetsom Hotel following the death of Ongpin’s girlfriend, Davao artist Bree Jonson, 30, who had accompanied him to La Union.
An autopsy report into Jonson’s remains is still being awaited to determine whether persons of interest may be held responsible for her death.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Immigration said Ongpin was included in the list of personalities monitored by the agency following an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order issued by the DOJ.
Initial findings on Jonson’s autopsy reveal that the cause of her death was asphyxia, but police are still waiting for the results of the histopathological exam. (PNA)