October 7, 2021 (5:39 PM)

4 min read


DOUBLE STANDARDS. Breanna Jonson, an artist and graduate from Ateneo de Davao University, was found dead inside a hotel room of a beach resort in San Juan, La Union. Women’s Rights advocates urged netizens to stop the victim-blaming as details of her death are still being investigated. Photo taken from Pep.ph

Following the death and burial of Breanna “Bree” Jonson, her mother Salome Jonson said that they were disappointed with the ongoing investigation and how the Philippine National Police (PNP) is handling it.

“Kaya kami nafu-frustrate with PNP, kami, wala kaming pera, but we manage to get our legal team. Siya hindi mo nakikita, wala kang naririnig, wala akong narinig na pangalan ng kanyang legal, ni isa, wala akong napangalanan,” she said in an interview.

Jonson’s family lawyer Atty. Ma. Moreni Salandanan told Teleradyo that the Jonson family was only after the truth.

“Ang hinahabol ng pamilya ay ang katotohanan lamang. Kasi without the truth, hindi nila makukuha ‘yung closure that they deserve. Kasi as of now, very conflicting ‘yung what we saw on the ground dun sa mga naging reports ng PNP,” she said.

Currently, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is conducting Bree’s second autopsy.

Jonson’s family manages the Justice for Bree Jonson Facebook page and continues to post with the hashtag #justiceforbreejonson.

Victim-blaming Jonson

Following the death of Jonson, Gabriela Women’s Party and other advocates urged to stop victim-blaming because it only reinforced misogynist projections.

Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) Media and Information Literacy professor, Virgilind V. Palarca told Atenews that some netizens blaming Jonson’s actions show an example of not only victim-shaming but also gender inequality. 

“It is interesting that nobody talks about the questionable character of Julian Ongpin online but we have so many people blaming Bree for her actions; saying because she’s an artist, what do you expect when you date a druggie, she has mental health issues, etc. That alone is a clear example of not only victim-shaming but gender inequality as well,” Palarca said.

Palarca shared that it is ironic because Jonson championed feminism, hence, her Instagram profile description, “The Personal is Political”, a slogan that emerged during the 1970s Feminist movement. 

“The slogan says that all our experiences (as women but also marginalized people in general) of injustice and the like are caused by oppressive political systems,” she added.

Double standards on Jonson and Ongpin case

Palarca further says that there are two double standards at play, with Jonson being a woman and Ongpin a man.

“The Case of Bree’s death is not a mere alleged homicide case. The first issue is drug possession by an oligarch that has been set free by the police. If we cannot even get justice on a very obvious violation such as that, what more can we expect in the investigation of her death? It’s becoming grim as we speak,” she said.

Saladanan said on Teleradyo that based on her experience, no person caught with possession of these amounts of drugs is released for further investigations.

“As you know, ‘pag 12 grams and above po’ yung quantity ng na-confiscate na droga, punishable na ‘to by a capital offense, life imprisonment to death. This being the case, this is even non-bailable,” she said.

The lawyer alleged that there were “double standards” in this case as this was different from her other clients before.

She also explained that they were given only 10 days from the inquest resolution to file the motion for reconsideration and they will know in the coming days if the PNP could file a motion for reconsideration.

Jonson, a 30-year-old contemporary artist and an Industrial Engineering graduate from AdDU, died of asphyxia, based on the initial report of her autopsy examination. 

On September 18, Jonson was found dead inside a hotel room of a beach resort in San Juan, La Union, in which Police Regional Office (PRO)-Ilocos Director Brigadier General Emmanuel Peralta said they could not determine yet if Jonson indeed committed suicide. 

Julian Ongpin, son of billionaire Bobby Ongpin, claimed Jonson killed herself, but her family refused to believe him.

Ongpin was arrested after 12.6 grams of cocaine was seized inside their room, yet was released later. 

A report further says both Bree and Julian have tested positive for cocaine use.

Bree was laid to rest last week at the Davao Memorial Park.

Meanwhile, Ongpin is placed on the immigration lookout list by The Department of Justice.

End the silence of the gagged!

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