A PANEL  of prosecutors formed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted Julian Roberto Ongpin, son of billionaire and former trade chief Roberto Ongpin, for possession of illegal drugs (cocaine).

A criminal complaint for violation of Section 11 of Republic Act   9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against Ongpin before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in San Fernando, La Union.

The justice department said the criminal offense is non-bailable and that a precautionary hold departure order (PHDO) has earlier been issued by the executive judge of the RTC last October 8.

“The panel of prosecutors assigned to conduct the preliminary investigation of the complaint entitled Philippine National Police [PNP] San Juan La Union vs. Julian Roberto S. Ongpin issued resolution dated 18 October 2021 and resolved to indict respondent Julian Roberto Ongpin y Stone for possession of dangerous drugs [i.e. cocaine] under Section 11 of Republic Act  9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” the DOJ said.

The panel of prosecutors conducted two preliminary investigation hearings, which were both attended by Ongpin, before issuing its ruling.

The case stemmed from the recovery of 12.6 grams of cocaine in the room that Ongpin shared with his girlfriend 30-year-old Bree Jonson at Flotsam and Jetsam Resort in La Union.  The cocaine was discovered after authorities responded to a report of attempted suicide at the resort and found Jonson unconscious in a room.

Jonson was brought to the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Ongpin claimed that Jonson committed suicide as he found her hanging inside the bathroom, prompting him to seek assistance in bringing the latter to the hospital.

Both Ongpin and Jonson reportedly tested positive for illegal drug use.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still conducting an investigation to determine Jonson’s cause of death and  Ongpin’s possible liability over the incident.





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