Ortegas rule La Union for more than 100 years

May 8, 2010 at 8:57 am 2 comments


SAN FERNANDO CITY – Talk of La Union province and the name Ortega will invariably come to mind.

After all, the Ortegas have been well-entrenched in the political scene of this province in north Luzon , starting in 1901 when Joaquin Ortega was appointed by the American government as La Union’s first Filipino civil governor.

The province is seeing members of the family’s third and fourth generations seeking reelection in the May polls, and most of them are almost assured of winning.

What could be the staying power of this “political dynasty?”

Rep.Victor Ortega’s wife Mary Jane said unlike real dynasties, the Ortegas “do not reign.”

“They do not reign. They serve and they work hard to be where they are. They do this by continuing to stay in the province and helping the people whether they win or lose in the elections.”

“Unlike other politicians who leave the province when they lose, and come back only when election time comes, Ortegas stay right here and are always visible,” Mary Jane, a three-term mayor of San Fernando City, said.

Pablo Ortega, a re-electionist mayor of San Fernando City , said aside from giving good service for the people, “KBL” is a key to political longevity.

“I maintain close relationships with the people by attending kasal, binyag, libing, and birthdays in the villages. You can ask the village officials. I don’t see them only during elections, but even when its not election time,” he said.

He dismissed insinuations that the city mayoralty seat was given to him on a silver platter just because he is an Ortega, but claimed he rose from the ranks, so to speak.

“I was barangay captain for 10 years, councilor for 12 years and board member for three years before I sought the city mayoralty seat,” he said.

Pablo was unopposed in 2007, but is now challenged by another Ortega – his cousin Carlos.

While Pablo claimed his cousin “is not a serious candidate,” his filing of candidacy shows the crack in the family tree.

Carlos, a former provincial board member, is the son of Joaquin (Titing) who run against his brother Francisco for Congress in 1965 “when Francisco was at the sunset of his life.”

“People think ‘dynasty’ is all glamour. There are certain things that people do not see, there are underpinnings. Not everything is smooth. And we don’t always win elections. Sometimes we lose, too. For example, my father-in-law (Francisco) experienced winning and losing for three consecutive times before he won three times consecutive times,” Mary Jane said.

Yet being an Ortega is simply an advantage, Pablo said.

This is because of the good name their father Francisco left after serving the province first as councilor then as congressman for 23 years.

“We admit we are a dynasty, but a dynasty of good service,” he said.

Mary Jane said there is also a pressure in being an Ortega – to live up to the good name that their patriarch left

There are five Ortega brothers seeking reelection in May.

They are Victor who is running unopposed in the first congressional district, Manuel (Manoling) for governor, Pablo for Mayor of San Fernando City, Francisco Jr.(Kit) as councilor of San Fernando City , and Jose (Pepe), who is running unopposed for board member in the first district.

Their other brothers are Ramon (Monetski) who is the head of barangay IV and sits as councilor of San Fernando (being vice president of Liga ng mga Barangay san Fernando and Robert who used to be councilor of Baguio City . Their brother Mario used to head barangay IV but is at present out of politics.

The brothers are sons of Francisco who was congressman of the first district for 23 years. Franciso’s brother Joaquin (father of Carlos who is running as mayor against Pablo) also was governor and congressman

Francisco and Joaquin are the only two of the 14 children of Joaquin (the first civil governor of the province) who followed his political footsteps.

Among the fourth generation Ortegas are the sons of Manoling, namely Francisco or Pacoy, who is the second nominee of the Abono Party-list group; Alfredo (Kit) who is up for reelection as councilor of San Fernando City and Manuel (Mannix) who is the president of Liga ng mga Barangay of San Fernando and La Union and therefore sits in the provincial board.

The other fourth generation Ortegas are Alfred (Pablo’s son) who is running as councilor in San Fernando City and Robert Jr. (Robert’s son) who is running as councilor in Manila

Mary Jane said there sheer number of the Ortegas makes them a force to reckon with in the province’s political field.

“We have a deep bench,” she said.

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Entry filed under: News.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. chona quiachon  |  December 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Your always be the best politician I’ve ever follow. I admire your kind and generousity to mankind. May God always protect your decendants. Merry christmas

    Reply
  • 2. winnie regacho  |  June 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    MAGANDANG HAPON PO AKO PO AY SI WINNIE REGACHO AKO PO NANAWAGAN SA MGA NAIS TUMULONG PARA SA AKING ANAK SYA PO AY HEARING IMPAIRED SYA PO AY NG AARAL SA SPED ACES NG ARINGAY LA UNION SYA PO AY 6ERS OLD.NANGANGAILNGAN PP SYA NG HEARING AID SANA PO MATULUNGAN NINYO ANG ANAK KO KC PO HINDI NMN KAYANG BILHIN ANG HEARING AID NYA PO ETO PO UNG CONTACT NO KO 09199383581.SANA PO MATULUNGAN NYO PO KMI MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO GOD BLESS PO

    Reply

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