MANILA – The preliminary investigation into the high-profile illegal drug case slapped on Julian Ongpin, son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin, began on Friday.
In an update sent to the media, the office of Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said the arresting officers and police forensics investigators who handled the case in La Union also appeared, along with Ongpin and his lawyers, at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila.
As a matter of policy, the DOJ will not identify the prosecutors who are handling the case.
“The complainants from the Philippine National Police submitted their supplemental affidavit while respondent Ongpin submitted his counter-affidavit for the original complaint (possession of cocaine),” Malcontento said.
Ongpin requested time to study and answer the supplemental affidavit, prompting the hearing to be reset to October 8 at 10 a.m. “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,” the DOJ said.
The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor (OPP) of La Union originally handled the case against the 29-year-old Ongpin, who was caught with 12.6 grams of cocaine inside the hostel room he shared with his late girlfriend, Davao-based artist Bree Jonson, in San Juan town on September 18.
Jonson, 30, was found dead, with Ongpin saying it was a suicide case and the autopsy report revealing she died of asphyxia.
Ongpin later tested positive for illegal drug use but was ordered released by the OPP.
OPP-La Union was directed to transfer the case to the Office of the Secretary of Justice Prosecution Staff.
The Bureau of Immigration has also included Ongpin in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order as ordered by the DOJ.
The result of Jonson’s histopathological exam has yet to be released. (PNA)