By Christhel Cuazon | DZRH News
Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 1 Director Jeff Ortega recently drew ire on social media after a video of him introducing former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos as vice president in an event that went viral online.
On Instagram, Ortega posted a video last October 20 wherein he introduced Marcos as “former senator and vice president” during the launch of the region’s tourism branding “Find the ONE in Region 1” in Ilocos Norte. His account has now been set private as of posting.
Vice President Leni Robredo won over Marcos during the 2016 vice-presidential race.
However, on the same year, Marcos filed an electoral protest against Robredo, citing the results of the polls. He claimed to win the 2016 vice presidential race in the areas of Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental was confirmed by the manual recount votes.
Netizens quickly slammed Ortega for blatantly disrespecting Robredo and trended #ResignJeffOrtega on Twitter.
“And they have the audacity to ask that people should move on from martial law when they can’t get over this,” a Twitter user said.
Another user said Ortega should have ‘delicadeza’ given that he is appointed as a government official and shouldn’t disregard the law and constitution.
The said launching event was also attended by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Marcos’ nephew Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, and Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis Singson.
In a statement, DOT remind its officials and employees to “perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence and professionalism.”
“We remain guided by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), especially in expressing views on current political problems or issues,” the DOT said.
“With this, the DOT remains committed to the development of the tourism industry,” it added.
It was in 2019 when Ortega was appointed tourism director in Ilocos Region, making him the youngest regional director at the age of 30.
Before holding public office, he was an entrepreneur and known as the boyfriend of actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith.