Filipino painter Bree Jonson's mother, Sally, maintained that her daughter, who was found unresponsive in a La Union resort over the weekend, did not kill herself.
"She locked daw herself in the bathroom and hanged herself. We can't buy that," Sally said in Maki Pulido's "24 Oras" report.
The young artist was found dead on Saturday after police responded to an alleged suicide incident in a resort in San Juan town. Her companion, Julian Ongpin, son of Filipino businessman Roberto Ongpin, faces drug complaints after police allegedly recovered cocaine in the hotel room.
Sally believes that her daughter fought for her life after seeing that Ongpin had scratches and wounds on his arm.
"When somebody sent us a pic of the guy, 'yung mugshot niya, talagang nakita namin na mayroong deep scratch and wound sa arm [We could see in his mugshot that he had deep scratches, wounds on his arm]. Seeing wounds deep marks... sa arm niya [on his arm] only meant that my daughter fought for her life," said Sally, trying to hold back her tears.
Bree, 30, had been planning an art exhibit in La Union in December—one reason why Sally does not believe her daughter would end her life.
"She was so happy [that her] paintings, most were sold. She had the money to put up, to move her studio in La Union," said the older Jonson.
"Someone who is so excited, so enthusiastic with so much plans in her mind, tapos magsu-suicide ka, mag-O-OD ka, ano kaya yun? Hindi mag-connect eh [then you die by suicide, overdose? It doesn't connect]," she added.
Sally Jonson, who immediately returned to the Philippines from Canada, lamented that she might miss her daughter's funeral due to the mandatory quarantine.
"Baka hindi ko na maabutan ang anak ko. Ang hirap. Umuwi ako madalian, very rush...hindi ko na makikita ang anak ko [I might not make it in time. It's so hard. I went home immediately, but I will never see my daughter again]," she said tearfully.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Julian Ongpin was released due to the prosecutor's order.
An autopsy on Bree Jonson has been conducted, with the PNP saying that it is awaiting the results to determine if additional charges will be filed.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation, while the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued an immigration lookout bulletin on Ongpin. Sally Jonson earlier urged the BI to issue a hold departure order against him. — Consuelo Marquez/BM, GMA News
If you need or know someone who needs to talk to someone, Hopeline, the 24/7 suicide prevention hotline, may be reached at (02) 804-4673; 0917-5584673