BAGUIO CITY – The City Government paid tribute to the late Councilor Roberto Ortega who died last July 30 due to a lingering illness. He was 78.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Vice Mayor Edison Bilog led city officials and employees in paying their last respects to the deceased alderman during a necrological service last Wednesday at City Hall where his remains were brought last Tuesday from La Union for a two-night vigil.
Last Thursday, his remains were transported back to San Fernando City for the continuation of the wake but not after a funeral procession around key places in the city. Interment is scheduled today, August 6.
In City Council Resolution 282 series of 2017, Ortega’s political career and achievements were recalled thus:
“He began his stint in the political arena in 1995 when he was elected as councilor of the City of Baguio until 2001. Because he equates himself to public service, he ran and was elected as councilor of the City of Baguio in 2013 earning the second highest rank, and in 2016 he was re-elected in the same capacity landing in the third highest rank;
“He demonstrated unselfish and dedicated public service and thus reaping remarkable awards and citations from different organizations. The City Government of San Fernando, La union honored him the “Pagwadan Award”; he was conferred Senior Officer of the year as Lieutenant Colonel; Junior Officer of the Year as Captain; he was the recipient of 37 medals including 2 Bronze Crosses for Gallantry in Action, 34 Plaques of Appreciation for various accomplishments while in the military service, 40 letters of commendation for various accomplishments while in the service; and
“Leaving great marks on this earth, he truly upheld his maxim, “Drugs is an instrument of the devil. It is out to destroy, not only your body but also your very soul” and “Walang Personalan, Trabaho Lang.”
The resolution also recounted his beginnings and his colorful career as a lawman:
“Ortega, also popularly known as “Markang Bungo,” was born on 14 March 1939 at San Fernando, La Union. He came from a great political clan in the province of La Union, the grandson of the Ortega patriarch, Joaquin L. Ortega and the son of Francisco L. Ortega, a former Representative of La Union who was married to Corazon C. Ortega. All eight boys out of the 15 children have served La Union, politically, in different capacities, namely: Victor Francisco, Manuel, Pablo, Mario, Francisco Jr., Jose Ma. and Ramon. Among his children, only Roberto C. Ortega Jr., who is a showbiz personality entered politics as an incumbent Councilor of the City of Manila;
“Bobby Ortega was an intel agent from 1963 to 1973 and carved his career in the Philippine Constabulary since then. He finished his Management and General Staff Course at General Staff College in 1984. He climbed up the ladder of success until his retirement as Police Superintendent in 1992. To name a few of the highlights of his police service career, he became an Assistant Provincial Commander in the Province of Isabela from 1985 to 1987 and his diligence and dedicated service, brought him to the Baguio City Police Command as the Chief of Police from 1987 to 1989. During his command, he was credited for bringing down the crime rate by a staggering 95 percent and eliminated criminal syndicates to its lowest; and
“He was legendary when he headed the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) group known as “Bungo” squad with former General Sonny Razon as his deputy. He was dubbed as Mr. Peace and Order and the crime buster of the City of Baguio, the number one fighter against illegal drugs, and from which his heroic and be-medaled career as law enforcer was enshrined in two films entitled, “Markang Bungo” (the Bobby Ortega Story Part I) in 1992 and “Markang Bungo Part 2” (Iligpit si Bobby Ortega) in 1994.” “Councilor Ortega is remembered as a community leader and public servant, his efforts and contributions to the City of Baguio in various plans, programs and activities are well appreciated and his demise is a great loss not only to his family and friends, but to the City of Baguio,” the resolution noted.
“His legacy of service continues and will serve as an inspiration to Baguio’s future leaders and is worthy of recognition.” /Aileen P. Refuerzo