Filipino tourism official in hot water for calling Bongbong Marcos ‘vice president’

Coconuts Manila
·2 min read

Netizens have lambasted a director of the Department of Tourism in Region 1 after he called defeated candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos the “vice president” of the Philippines.

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Tourism official Jeff Ortega called Marcos as such in a speech delivered during an event held last week in Ilocos Norte province, the bailiwick of the Marcoses. A video of the occasion became viral after Ortega posted it on his Instagram page, which has since been set to private. Marcos was not present at the event, which was attended by his nephew, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc.

Filipinos online found Ortega’s comment disrespectful to Vice President Leni Robredo, whose stay in office has been controversial due to Marcos’ long-standing allegation that she was elected in 2016 through questionable means. Marcos had filed an electoral protest to contest Robredo’s victory, which remains unresolved until this day.

Ortega, more known as the ex-boyfriend of actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith, comes from a La Union province political clan. He was appointed as Tourism director in September 2019.

Read: Happy Dictator Day? Human rights group slams lawmakers’ approval of ‘Marcos Day’ bill

His name trended on Twitter yesterday, with many Filipinos calling him out for his glaring mistake. User @erkaerro called Ortega an “embarrassment.”

“I was actually waiting for this trash to expose how garbage he is!” she wrote.

“The hubris of this Jeff Ortega to post that video on his own public Instagram with over 100k followers, as if expecting there to be no repercussions. What is it about this crop of govt officials acting like they’re untouchable?” wrote @ceejtheday.

Someone using the handle @cpa_2013 reminded Ortega that Robredo is the “duly-elected” vice president of the country. “So please get over of your illusion, Jeff Ortega,” he wrote.

Should Ortega apologize for his actions? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

This article, Filipino tourism official in hot water for calling Bongbong Marcos ‘vice president’, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.