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PNP chief asks La Union police to explain lapses in handling Ongpin case

November 17, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 252 views

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos yesterday ordered the La Union Police Provincial Office to explain an apparent oversight and lapses in the handling of the drug evidence that led to the dismissal of the criminal charges filed against Julian Ongpin, the son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin.

The top cop also instructed PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management Maj. Gen. Omega Jireh Fidel to review the case records of the young Ongpin and determine if possible lapses in the chain of custody were really committed by the La Union police as determined by the court.

The review will be undertaken by the DIDM Case Monitoring Division.

“We want to know which aspect of the case may have been overlooked to preclude similar situations in other police operations,” Carlos said.

Nonetheless, the PNP chief C expressed the full respect and submission of the PNP to the decision of the court.

In a decision released last Monday, Judge Romeo Agacita Jr. of the San Fernando City Regional Trial Court in La Union dismissed the case against Ongpin for illegal possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165, citing “lack of probable cause.”

Following the decision, Carlos also directed the PNP Legal Service in Region 1 to coordinate with the La Union Provincial Prosecutor in filing a motion for reconsideration.

The dismissed case is now up for review in accordance with court procedures.

Police Regional Office 1 director Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Peralta said they are fully supporting the order of the PNP chief.

Peralta maintained that members of the La Union police performed their job on that day.

“Our first responders belonging to San Juan MPS, La Union PPO and eventually the SOCO Team that processed the crime scene promptly responded to the call for police assistance from Flotsam and Jetsam Hotel regarding an alleged dead person on September 18, 2021. The recovery of drug evidence, 12.6 grams of cocaine was just incidental and to emphasize the police response was not a drug operation,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the RTC did not consider these circumstances that led to the dismissal of the drug case. This is a very uncommon or peculiar case,” Peralta said.

The PRO1 director said their Regional Legal Service is closely coordinating with the Department of Justice for the filing of a motion for reconsideration as he committed the Ilocos-Pangasinan police headquarters’ full support on the legal remedy.

“Meanwhile, the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division has been directed to conduct a case review to determine the lapses committed during the investigation of this incident.

We take the decision of the RTC as a learning lesson to the whole PNP organization,” the official said.

“We assure the family of Breanna Jonson that we have investigated the case professionally and impartially, with no attempt to cover up or favor anybody. The PRO1 and the whole PNP organization will exhaust all available legal remedies to attain true justice,” Peralta added.