Markang Bungo: Bobby Ortega

Retired Col. Roberto “Bobby” C. Ortega (a.k.a. Markang Bungo whose relentless pursuit of criminal elements was showcased in films titled Markang Bungo [1992] and its sequel Iligpit si Bobby Ortega [1994], starring Rudy Fernandez), is an incumbent councilor in Baguio City. Bungo has a colorful and be-medaled career as a law enforcer (80’s) which inspired the movies depicting his life and career as a law enforcer.

From 1985 to 1987, Bungo was the Chief of Police of Baguio wherein which he brought down the city’s crime rate by 95% percent. He eliminated criminal syndicates in the city. There had been talks that Bungo would give fare money to criminals and tell them to leave city (or else?). And since the criminals already know that Bungo is dead serious, they chose to leave. The stories of how Bungo cleaned the city of criminality would be re-told over and over by Baguio older folks who would still remember how safe it is to walk around the city without having to fear of snatchers and the halang ang bituka. Sounds like what we hear now of how people would describe how safe it is for law-abiding people in Davao. So now we can safely say, that before there was a Duterte, there was Bungo, and we have him right here with us.

From being a law enforcer, Bungo entered Baguio politics. Why so? Because serving the people is in his blood.

The Ortegas’ political roots can be traced back in 1901 when their patriarch Joaquin Ortega was appointed Governor for La Union by the Taft Commission. Since then, the Ortegas had been well loved by the people of La Union, and wherever an Ortega goes, he brings with him the desire and heart to serve. Thus Bungo served and will continue to serve Baguio, and his son (Roberto Jr.) serves and will continue to serve Manila.

Bungo was first elected as City Councilor in 1995, and as a councilor, he has been fighting drugs. (Did you notice that we don’t have big time drug syndicates in the city?)

Now in his 70’s (proud of it and definitely doesn’t look it), he is running for re-election as City Councilor. As one of the city’s councilors, Bungo had the following accomplishments (among others):

• Moved for the approval of the ordinance appropriating fund for rewards to informers.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution requesting the BCPO to increase police visibility in every pedestrian lane in the central business district in the City of Baguio particularly the blue lanes for Senior Citizens to ensure the safety and protection of pedestrians passing by.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution requesting all business establishments in the City of Baguio to Install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras within their respective premises. This is helping a lot in the resolution of crimes in the city.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution on leveling of manhole covers and cross gutters with roads and sidewalks. Yes, this is so commonsensical, but it has to take an Ortega to take notice of it and do something about it.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution on reiteration on management of school canteens regarding the sale of soda drinks.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution requesting the 128 Barangays in the City to supervise and monitor vendors and stores selling tobacco products within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of a school. If not for Bungo, you would still see cigarette vendors at the gate of your children’s school.

• Moved for the approval of the resolution on inspection of boarding houses, apartments and dormitories.

• Moved for the approval of the Resolution Implementing a “Keep right system” on all walking lanes for pedestrians in the City of Baguio.

So he’s in his 70’s can he still do his job? Of course he does. He goes to the gym and still lifts weights! And definitely, look at him and he looks a lot younger than his age, which Bungo attributes to his very supportive wife, Len (who is from Pangasinan). Well, as they say, behind a man’s success is a woman.

And what can he do if he gets elected back? Aside from usual legislative work, Bungo wants to keep Baguio safe. Bungo fell in love with Baguio the very first time he set foot in the city, he made it his home, and he would want to make it safe for his children and his children’s children.

We could almost hear Bungo echoing Duterte’s “My God, I hate drugs” slogan; but he has this to say: “Drugs is an instrument of the devil; it is out to destroy not only your body but also your very Soul.”/The Junction News Team