An Ortega’s lament

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I AM not an expert in tracing the family tree, probably because I am way down the branches of the tree and do not have a clear view of the top. My knowledge of my lineage is limited to relatives I often come in contact with. I do not know much of my “katiguwangan.”

Of the Wenceslaos, I know more about the cousins of my late father Tiyong and their respective families who reside in Tudela town and Cebu City than his two brothers and their descendants who are living in Davao del Norte.

Of the Ortegas, I know more about my mother Juling’s brothers and sisters from Poro town (before they left for the United States or resided in some other provinces in the Philippines) than the relatives of my late grandfather Angel in Argao town. I also know some of the relatives of my late grandmother Abundia, who is an Otero, in Poro.

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I am mentioning this because there is an Ortega that occupies a sensitive post in the administration of Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III and he has been sucked recently into a controversy. I haven’t met Provincial Attorney Orvi Ortega in person but somebody volunteered to trace the Ortega branch of my family tree for me.

Orvi is the son of my mother’s cousin.

So there. It might be good for the readers to note that when they follow my columns that at times touch on some Capitol issues.

***

Ortega was thrust into the limelight a few weeks ago when questions were raised regarding the takeover by Black Pearl Security Agency of the task of security provider for the Provincial Government. This even if Black Pearl still had to undergo post-qualification assessment and a contract for its services had yet to be signed.

Capitol and the governor was criticized for it, and rightly so. Davide initially defended the takeover and even said that in the case no contract would be signed, Black Pearl would be paid for the days it provided security services to the Capitol.

He eventually terminated Black Pearl’s services for minor reasons, obviously an admission of an error.

Stories soon swirled that some Capitol officials would have received money had the engagement of Black Pearl been made permanent. All eyes were on the Provincial Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC), then headed by Ortega (the governor later revamped the committee’s membership).

Orvi naturally got much of the flak because of his position in the PBAC. Some of the criticisms were harsh but I thought he was prepared for it. After all, he had held an elective post once, as Provincial Board member representing the second district. Meaning, he was a politician.

Yesterday, he held a press conference to answer the insinuations against him. I consider it a sign that he had enough of the criticisms and found these unfair. His getting the support of the Ortegas also shows that he did not do the shenanigans attributed to him.

As I said I don’t know Orvi personally. But as a relative, I would give him the benefit of the doubt notably in the matter of integrity.

I would say his answering the issues is par for the course. But I don’t think going to court would be productive. It will only add fuel to the fire and would ensure that the flame of animosity will continue to burn. He should just let the issue die down.

This is the first controversy Orvi is embroiled in and if he remains at the Capitol, this won’t be the last. He should therefore learn how to treat criticisms and critics.

One advice: if the critics are unfair, don’t listen to them or read them—-in short, ignore them. Don’t let criticisms and critics be a distraction to your work. In the end, if you do well in your job, the praises will drown out the criticisms.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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