Ongpin asks La Union court to defer issuance of arrest warrant

October 24, 2021 Hector Lawas 269 views

SCION of wealthy family Julian Ongpin has assailed the resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) finding probable cause to indict him for illegal drugs.

This as Ongpin asked the La Union regional trial court to defer the issuance of an arrest warrant and suspend the proceedings on his controversial drug case.

Ongpin’s plea was contained in an Omnibus Motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of a warrant of arrest and suspend proceedings which was filed by his lawyers led by Atty. Dennis Manalo.

Also, Ongpin asked the La Union RTC to refuse “to issue a commitment order (or warrant of arrest) and dismiss the case outright for lack of probable case in accordance with Section 6, Rule 112, Rules of Court[.]”

In the alternative and in view of the doubt on the existence of probable cause, he also asked the court “to order the [Department of Justice] to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice to establish probable cause against the accused.’

Ongpin explained that he only learned through online news portals that the DOJ issued a resolution recommending the filing of the Information against him for violation of Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“While the DOJ has been quick to inform the media about this case, it has yet to furnish accused his copy of the said resolution,” Ongpin’s motion read.

“Consequently, the accused is still unable to avail of his remedies therefrom one of which is to file a motion for reconsideration within the period of fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof under the DOJ rules for preliminary investigation, or to file a petition for review with the office of the Secretary of Justice.”

“The DOJ’s resolution and its supporting evidence, as filed before the Honorable Court, clearly failed to establish probable cause to arrest accused since they were anchored on mere speculations and erroneous inferences that accused violated [the law],” it added.

The young Ongpin insisted that “the DOJ should not have easily been swayed to accept the justification given the high possibility of planting, tampering or alteration of the evidence on account of the absence of the accused in the crime scene during the conduct of the physical inventory and photographing of the subject drugs.”

The illegal drugs charges filed against Ongpin was raffled off to Branch 27 of the San Fernando, La Union regional trial court, it was learned from the Department of Justice over the weekend.

Previously, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra explained that the judge will examine the existence of a probable cause before deciding to issue a warrant of arrest or not.

“The judge to whom the case will be raffled will first determine the existence of probable cause based on the records submitted to the court by the DOJ panel of state prosecutors. If the judge finds probable cause, he or she will issue a warrant of arrest, ” Guevarra said.

The DOJ recently filed illegal drugs charges against Ongpin, who is also a person of interest in the untimely demise of visual artist Bree Jonson.

Ongpin, son of former Trade and Industry minister Roberto Ongpin, was indicted for “Possession of Dangerous Drugs (i.e. cocaine) under Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The information against Ongpin stated that the offense was non-bailable.

Police arrested Ongpin, 29, last September 18 in San Juan, La Union, after 12.6 grams of cocaine were found in the hostel room he and Jonson were occupying.

Ongpin was Jonson’s boyfriend and was the last companion when she was found unconscious in Flotsam & Jetsam Resort. She was brought to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival before dawn on Saturday (September 18).

The scion of Ongpin family claimed that Jonson committed suicide.