Women's advocates and supporters of the late artist Bree Jonson questioned why police cleared the son of billionaire Roberto Ongpin in its investigation into her death.
Julian Ongpin is no longer considered a "person of interest" in Jonson's death, said Gen. Dionardo Carlos, the Philippine National Police chief. Ongpin was also earlier cleared of drug charges despite testing positive for cocaine use on the night Jonson was found dead in their hotel bathroom.
Jonson's mother, Sally, had earlier expressed concern that the Ongpin's stature would influence the investigation into her daughter's death last Sept. 18. Police investigators rejected the family's suspicion.
"How can the PNP be so sure of lack of foul play when it mishandled the pieces of evidence surrounding Bree's death? Pag mayaman at dikit sa Pangulo, instant abswelto. Pag mahirap, patay agad," Gabriela Women's Party said.
Jonson's supporters said on Facebook that it was a "botched investigation" from day one.
The delays, the miscommunication among the authorities, and the family's naiveté about what to do. Bree's family does not have connections to high places. They're just regular people who even used to "trust" the system. That's all changed now. There are so many stories on the ground but they will be told at the right time," they said on the page Justice for Bree Jonson.
Jonson died of asphyxia or a loss of oxygen, commonly caused by strangulation or choking. Ongpin had claimed that Jonson took her own life with a cat leash in the wee hours of Sept. 18, that's why she was wounded in the neck.
The Department of Justice also earlier suspended its investigation on the Jonson case pending the PNP's reply to its request for clarification on a police DNA test.