The boyish adventurer

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Former Ambassador Francisco Ortigas III whose alleged extra-marital affairs has been front page material for the past several weeks finally replied to the criminal complaint filed by his estranged wife Susana Madrigal Bayot. (READ HERE)

To the allegation that he was having sexual relations with his maids, the former Ambassador replied,

    “I may have ventured into boyish adventurism; however, all of them (had been) forgiven and condoned by the complainant.”

Boyish adventurism sounds harmless enough. What is more interesting, however, is the 65 year old former Ambassador did not say at what age he stopped being a boyish adventurer.

To the allegation that he was caught in flagrante with his wife’s best friend who was then working for him as his executive assistant when he was serving as Philippine Ambassador to Mexico, Ortigas replied,

    “(The Pasig Prosecutor’s Office) does not have the power or authority to even determine the existence of probable cause as the alleged criminal act, assuming it to be true, took place outside of the jurisdiction of the Philippines and is an act done not in the exercise and/or performance of my function as an Ambassador.”

Of course screwing his wife’s best friend is not in his job description.

However, there might be a slight problem with asserting that “the alleged criminal act, assuming it to be true, took place outside of the jurisdiction of the Philippines.”.

As far as I know, the Ambassador and all diplomatic personnel of any Philippine Embassy are under Philippine jurisdiction. The Ambassador’s residence and the Embassy premises are also under Philippine jurisdiction because they are considered Philippine territory. And if I’m not mistaken, official embassy vehicles are also Philippine territory. Maybe questioning jurisdiction is not the best line of defense.

And then there’s also the problem of sexual harassment should Ortigas and his alleged lover break-up and she decides to sue. He was her boss she can claim that he intimidated her into submitting to his advances.

To the allegation that he was cohabiting with his wife’s best friend, Ortigas replied,

    “Even assuming that I stayed at Luntala (the Valle Verde townhouse he co-owned with his wife Susie and where the alleged cohabitation with a mistress took place) for prurient reasons, such stay cannot be labeled as cohabitation. I have been advised that ‘the term cohabit means to dwell together, in the manner of husband and wife, for some period of time, as distinguished from occasional, transient interviews for unlawful intercourse’.”

Wow. That’s a good tip for any spouse who wants to house a lover.

Wife: “You are cohabiting with that woman!”

Husband: “Of course not! I never considered her as my wife. I only housed her for occasional, transient interviews for unlawful intercourse.”

Anyway, if the allegations against Ortigas are true it seems that only “forgiveness and condonation” will save his ass from jail because his wife will only drop the charges against him if he gives up his claim to her massive Madrigal inheritance. Unfortunately, Ortigas refuses to let go of his wife’s inheritance.

He said,

    “Stripped to its core, the instant criminal complaint is a legal maneuver designed to compel me to mechanically sign a quitclaim which complainant presented to me in the early part of 2011.”

So it looks like Ortigas will fight for his share of his wife’s billions.

I don’t know if the lawyers of Ortigas warned him but “boyish adventurism” has an entirely different meaning in jail.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.