BUKIDNON’S Carlos O. Fortich, the province’s longest serving governor, passed away on Sunday night. He was 83.
Fortich served for an unprecedented eight terms, a total of 26 years starting in 1968, as provincial governor.
It was a year before his first four-year term would end when he was adjudged “Most Outstanding Governor of the Philippines”—the youngest ever to receive such recognition at 35 years old.
In 1997, when he was governor for the seventh time, Bukidnon received the “Gawad ng Lahi Pamana Award” as the Most Outstanding Province of the Philippines.
In between the mandatory term limits, he was congressman and then as vice governor, both elective posts with a three-year term.
He also earned the distinction of being Northern Mindanao’s first-ever chairman of the Regional Development Council for nine years.
The former Bukidnon provincial chief executive was at the helm of the region’s highest policy and decision-making body that oversees the planning and implementation of programs and projects in the still undivided region, including the Caraga provinces, except Surigao del Sur.
The bereaved family has yet to release details of his death and internment, as of presstime. (Uriel C. Quilinguing, contributing editor)