SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union: The Ortega clan still hold power in La Union after seven of their 11 candidates in various local position emerged winners in the May 9 elections.
Results showed that this city’s outgoing Mayor Pablo Ortega won by landslide in the congressional race in the 1st District against his nephew Manuel Victor Ortega Jr., an ex-officio member of the La Union provincial board and son of outgoing Gov. Manuel Ortega.
Abono Partylist Rep. Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega 3rd, eldest son of Gov. Manuel, defeated his uncle, Mario Ortega, in the gubernatorial race.
Provincial board members Francisco Ortega Jr. and nephew Jonathan Justo Orros were both reelected in their positions.
San Fernando councilor Alfredo Pablo Ortega, also son of Gov. Manuel, has beaten his uncle Jose Maria “Pepe” Ortega in the city vice mayoral race. Also won in their reelection bid are city councilors Paolo Ortega and Ramon Ortega. Another cousin John Orros was also elected city councilor.
Reports also showed that Roberto “Bungo” Ortega won as councilor in Baguio City.
Other clan members who failed in their election bid are Caba town mayoral bet actress Michelle Ortega and Joey Ortega, a candidate for city councilor.
Former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega, wife of outgoing Rep. Victor, was lost to Vice Mayor Hermenigildo Gualberto in the city mayoral race.
During the campaign period, Mario, Mary Jane Ortega and Pepe Ortega tried but failed to avert what perceived to be a potential “political family feud” after their nephews decided to run against them.
“It really pains us brothers because we sacrificed for each other since we don’t want our family to be broken or agsisina kami. Kayat mi kuma nga united kami, ta nu united kami awan kuma problema mi amin” (We want our family to be intact so that there will be no problem), Pepe earlier said.
The Ortegas of La Union are the longest existing political dynasty in the country having been in the elective posts for over a century since 1901 when its patriarch—Joaquin Ortega—was appointed Governor during the American colonial rule.
His sons Joaquin Jr. and Francisco held various positions in the local and national positions since 1934 until 1986.
The next generation of the Ortegas are continued by Victor, Manuel, Mario, Pablo, Robert, Francisco, Jose Maria and Ramon and being passed on to their children who are ruling over La Union’s local politics and in Congress.
WITH THOM. F. PICAÑA