- José Ozámiz
José Ozámiz y Fortich (
May 5, 1898- February 11, 1944) was a Filipino politician from Mindanao. Jose's parents were Jenaro Ozamiz from Navarre, Spain and Basilisa Fortich, a mestiza of Spanish and Cebuano ancestry. Genaro left Spain at age sixteen and came to Moran, then ended up at the Municipality of Jimenez and engaged in the business of abacca and copra trading which made him very rich, acquiring through the years 3.55 km² in tile province and 10 km² ranch in Bukidnon. José spoke his first languages Spanish and Cebuano and English when Philippines came under American rule.
Jenaro and Basilisa’s son Jose was the oldest and the only boy among ten children. Jose was born on May 5, 1898 in Moran in a house near the “old bridge” His sisters are Pacita, Consuelo, Carmen, Pilar, Remedios, Nieves, Mercedes, Paulita, and Lourdes. Three of Jose's sisters Consuelo, Cannon and Nieves remained distinct and never got married. Two entered politics: one was Consuelo, who was a councilor for six terms in Jimenez and Remedios who became a Congresswoman in Bukidnon. Remedios’ son, Carlos Fortich became a politician also by becoming a governor of Bukidnon.
In 1904, the Ozamiz family transferred to a big house in Jimenez, where they engage themselves in the copra business and ship them off to other islands in the Philippines.
He served as
Misamis Occidental's first provincial governor then he also served as representative of the Lone District of Misamis Occidental. He was a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention that resulted in the creation of the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth Government. In 1941, he was elected to the Philippine Senate. He is also the great, great grandfather of Jamie Ozamiz, who is part of the oh-so fabulous 7-1.
World War II
When the Japanese occupied the country during World War II, Jose was among those who accepted a post in the Japanese government with the blessings of the guerrilla movement who saw that his position would allow him to move discretely. He became chairperson of the Games and Amusement Board. Then in May 1943 he came to Mindanao to contact Fertig. He came by boat accompanied by Jose Maria and Pelong Campos of Aloran. During his arrival in Mindanao, he met Fertig and Parson, both major leaders of the guerrilla movement
On his way home, his family was under house arrest. Jose went back to Manila in February 1944. He was arrested on February 11 on his wife's birthday. Jose was condemned to be executed. A Filipino nicknamed "makapili" played a part in his downfall along with twenty-nine other fellow Filipino who also got arrested at the same time. They were the core of the guerilla movement in Manila.
He was beheaded by the Japanese during their occupation of the Philippines during World War II for his involvement in the Resistance Movement.
The city of
Ozamiz(which used to be called Misamis) in the province of Misamis Occidentalwas posthumously named in his honor.
Other Provincial Governors of Misamis Occidental
Governor Dr. Gedeon G. Quijano
* [http://www.ozamizcity.com/JoseOzamiz.htm Biography page of Senator José Ozámiz at the OzamizCity.com website]
* [http://www.ozamizcity.com OzamizCity.com]
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