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Jonson Died By Strangulation; Ongpin On BI Lookout List

Jonson Died By Strangulation; Ongpin On BI Lookout List
The late artist Bree Jonson. Photo from Jonson’s Instagram account

Visual artist Bree Jonson died by strangulation and her urine had traces of cocaine, police said, citing results of the autopsy conducted on the victim.

The autopsy showed Jonson died of asphyxia or loss of air as seen from the ligature mark in her neck, Ilocos regional police director Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta said on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Police said probers found a cat chain at the scene, which they suspect might have been used to strangle Jonson. But her body did not bear marks that suggest she struggled for her life, Peralta said.

“Her body was clean, her back, her feet, front and hands. She only had marks on her neck, there were ligature marks there,” he added in Filipino.

Urine samples extracted from Jonson’s bladder tested positive for cocaine, Peralta said.

As this developed, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has added Julian Ongpin in the list of personalities it is monitoring for possible departure from the country in connection with the death of Jonson.

“We received a memorandum from the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordering his inclusion in our immigration lookout bulletin order database. We immediately implemented the order upon receipt,” Morente said, referring to Ongpin.

A lookout bulletin order is issued by the DOJ to monitor the whereabouts of a person suspected to be involved in a crime and who may attempt to leave the Philippines.

The BI is an attached agency of the DOJ.

Ongpin, son of business magnate Roberto Ongpin, was identified as a person of interest in the death of Jonson as he was with the woman when she was found unconscious at a resort in La Union on Saturday.

Jonson was later declared dead in a hospital.

In an interview with One News mobile journalist King Sengco on Sept. 20, Jonson’s mother, Sally, said they did not want to accuse Ongpin of anything but he must be able to shed light on the matter because he was the last known companion of her daughter.

Sally admitted she was informed that Ongpin was her daughter’s boyfriend. However, her daughter had not told her about it.

Ongpin’s father was the head of the Department of Trade and Industry during the Marcos regime. He currently chairs property developer Alphaland and is considered by Forbes as among Filipino billionaires with a current net worth of $1.1 billion.

No struggle

Meanwhile, the wounds seen on Ongpin did not indicate struggle.

Police said Ongpin told them that he got the scratches for trying to squeeze through a narrow window of the comfort room to try to save Jonson from allegedly taking her own life.

“The markings or wounds were caused by the nails, which jibes with what Julian said that he squeezed in through a small window. Our SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operatives) established that the wounds on his forearm and body were not caused by struggle coming from (Bree),” Peralta said.

Ongpin told police Jonson tried to hang herself in the toilet.

Police have informed Jonson’s father, Vincent Tagunod, of the autopsy result.

Based on the autopsy, police have no evidence yet to file murder or even homicide charges in relation to Jonson’s death.

Peralta said Ongpin cooperated with police who investigated the case.

He gave assurance that the police would dig deeper into the case and would include in the investigation other people who were with Jonson and Ongpin at the resort.

Probers would include in the investigation the presence of a disability identification card and anti-depressants at the scene.