JOSE FORTICH OZAMIS (May 5, 1898; Misamis Occidental – February 11, 1944; Fort Santiago, Manila) – This Senator came from the FIEL CLAN.
Son of Basilisa Fortich and Jenaro Ozámiz (b. Navarre, Spain);
grandson of Don Gerardo Ricardo del Rosario Embrado and Pilar Gonzales Fortich;
great-grandson of Romano Silvano Cajes Embrado (September 15, 1850; Bansaan Island, Bohol – September 25, 1881, Camotes Island, Cebu) and Placida Agatha del Rosario (February 5, 1855; Aroroy, Masbate –June 8, 1919 Aroroy, Masbate);
great-great grandson of Don Antonio Fiel Embrado and Beatriz Bangoy Cajes;
great-great-great grandson of Maria Patricia Gelbolingo Fiel and Don Hugo Salvador Oppus Embrado of Ubay, Bohol;
great- great-great-great grandson of Fortunato Agustin Lucero Fiel and Maria Magdalena Bacaltos Gelbolingo
great- great- great-great-great grandson of Fray Felizardo Fiel and Generosa Diez Lucero.
Jose was born on May 5, 1898, the eldest and the only boy among 10 children. His sisters were Pacita, Consuelo, Carmen, Pilar, Remedios, Nieves, Mercedes, Paulita, and Lourdes.
Don Jose Ozamiz, a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila became a lawyer on September 27, 1921. He actively practiced law and was counsel of big companies in Manila like Madrigal Shipping and Dela Rama Steamship, both owned by senators. He became the first appointed and elected Governor of the Province of Misamis Occidental.
The Province of Misamis was divided into two on November 8, 1929. Misamis then became the Provinces of Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental. Thereafter, Don Jose was elected Representative on June 2, 1931 of the then Lone District of Misamis Occidental (in the 1987 Constitution, Misamis Occidental had an additional congressional district, making it into two districts). The Philippine Bill of 1902 prescribes the election every three years. Ozamiz was succeeded by Cong. Eugenio Stuart del Rosario.
Don Jose was also part of the wise men who drafted the 1935 Constitution, having been elected as Delegate representing Misamis Occidental in the 1934 Constitutional Convention. The election for delegates was held on July 10, 1934 as provided by the Tydings-Mc Duffie Law.
Don Jose F. Ozamiz was elected Senator in the first senatorial elections after the Senate was abolished in the 1935 Constitution and was restored thereafter after a constitutional amendment. For the first time, our senators were elected at large or nationwide. Originally, when the Senate was created by virtue of the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 or more known as the Jones Law, senators were elected by districts. Our country was divided into twelve senatorial districts.
Jose won as Senator on the election held on November 11, 1941. His fellow Visayan senators were Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco, Carlos P. Garcia, Vicente Rama, Esteban dela Rama and Manuel A. Roxas. They were not however to able to assume office on December 30, 1941 as the war in the Pacific commenced on December 8, 1931 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Jose was forced by the Japanese Imperial Army to work with them. Under the pretense of supporting the Japanese but continued to work with the guerillas. He was arrested by the Japanese Kempetai or Secret Police imprisoned at Fort Santiago and on February 11, 1944 executed. He was buried, with head chopped-off at the North Cemetery with other 29 guerilla members, his remains was identified through his dentures.
Don Jose died a martyr and patriot never revealing who the other leaders of the resistance movement. His patriotism saved the life of his fellow senator, Manuel A. Roxas, who was the country’s leader or number one man of the resistance movement. Don Jose was the number two or second in line of the resistance and would have been the chosen tandem or Vice President of Roxas in the April 23, 1946 elections (Roxas chose Quirino to be his Vice President).
The nation honored the heroism of Don Jose Ozamiz by posthumously renaming Misamis as Ozamiz when it was converted as a city on July 16, 1948 under Republic Act 321. (it was approved on June 19, 1948 by Congress). The birth of Ozamiz City coincides with the Feast of Mount Carmel.