Issue of August 6, 2017
     
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‘Markang Bungo’, celebrated city councilor, dies at age 78
by Harley F. Palangchao

HAIL AND FAREWELL -- Baguio Councilor Roberto Ortega (2nd from left) popularly known for his moniker “Bungo” passed away on July 29 after his long bout with cancer in his hometown in La Union. Ortega, who was photographed during his oath taking rites in 2016, will be known for his immense contributions to the peace and order situation of the city when he was the chief of police and as an elected official. -- Harley Palangchao

Retired police colonel Roberto C. Ortega alias “Markang Bungo” or Bungo”, the most celebrated councilor Baguio ever had, passed away on July 29 in his hometown in La Union after a long bout with cancer. He was 78.

Ortega, who served as councilor for 16 years (1995 to 2004 and 2010 until the time of his death) will be remembered by Baguio residents and visitors for setting the pace for sustaining a peaceful and orderly city, which he started when he was chief of police.

An heir of the Ortega clan that has ruled La Union since 1901 up to the present, the late councilor won the hearts of the Baguio electorate every time an election is held in this mountain resort for his tough stance against criminals, including those involved in heinous crimes.

As chief of police of Baguio from 1985 to 1987, he brought down the city’s crime by 95 percent, an achievement that was not matched by any police chief in recent memory.

His tough stance against criminal syndicates in Baguio has inspired the making of the blockbuster movie “Markang Bungo” in 1991 and its sequel “Iligpit si Bobby Ortega” in 1995. Both movies were starred by the late action star Rudy Fernandez.

His vast experience in military and police service has made him one of the sought after personalities when it comes to peace and order planning, including traffic legislations and anti-terrorism efforts.

Pundits have it that criminals and other lawless individuals have long feared Ortega even before President Rodrigo Duterte waged an all-out war against criminal syndicates when he was mayor of Davao for the longest time.

As a local legislator, Ortega was instrumental in the passage of a policy which appropriates funds for informants against wanted persons and criminals in Baguio, as well as laws ensuring police presence and visibility in the city’s 128 barangays especially the central business district.

Ortega’s remains were brought to the City Hall where Baguio officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Mark Go paid their last respects to the illustrious public servant.
He was survived by wife Lenlen and 18 children.

Domogan told reporters that the city’s officialdom and the constituents expressed their deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Ortega.

He said it is most likely that Ortega’s son, Roberto Ortega VI, will fill the vacancy as result of the latter’s death.


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