Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Ortigas-Legarda Affair: A Former Ambassador's Wife's Quest for Justice

"Susie needs justice"
Most of us think that adultery and concubinage are things which only happen in middle class or lower middle class homes. Actually, in several occasions, these also animate the lives of the rich and famous. Fact is, many of the rich and famous are involved in scandalous and sordid affairs that eventually ruin their lives (not their stature). Yet, these are kept hidden away from the prying eyes of a judging public. In most cases, these are tolerated. 


For Mrs. Susana Madrigal Bayot-Ortigas, however, there is this thing called justice. And these alleged affairs of her alleged philandering husband has got to stop. 


As I was reading the story of Mrs. Ortigas, I cannot help myself but feel pity. On second thought, she does not deserve mine. It is not our pity that she needs nor our sympathy. Justice, oh, sweet one, is the one thing she deserved. 


For Mrs. Susana Madrigal Bayot-Ortigas, wife of former Philippine ambassador to Mexico Francisco Ortigas III, her years as a faithful wife ended when she allegedly found out the scandalous affair of her husband and her best friend of many years, Maria Antonia "Marian" Legarda.


"Susie's best friend"
Previous to this, Mrs. Ortigas discovered several illicit affairs of her husband whom she described as an "abuser, a scrooge, an incorrigible philanderer and worse, a pervert " (page 2 of her complaint against her husband).


Her husband, Francisco or Paqui to the alta sociedad, first had his illicit relationship with their household maid. The maid, who has served the Ortigas family household for twenty years, became Paqui's "sex slave", according to Mrs. Ortigas. Her husband would do several sexual acts with the maid inside their house and even, at a sleazy hotel in Malate, Manila. 


The former ambassador also had relationships with several other maids, and tried to solicit sexual favors with the family's executive assistant.


In all these affairs, Mrs. Ortigas kept her mouth shut, and like a lady who lived in the Victorian age, decided to live peacefully inspite of her resentment to her husband.


When her son, Paco, died due to a jet skiing accident, things changed. Mrs. Ortigas blamed herself for not taking care of Paco. She, however, discovered later on, that the accident came shortly after her son discovered that his father, Paqui, was maintaining a relationship with a certain Janet, a mistress. 


Mrs. Ortigas decided that it was time to end her life as a "silent and suffering wife" when her husband Paqui even entered into a relationship with her best friend, Marian. Worst, this relationship had even spilled over the public sphere and is now the subject of worst rumours at North Greenhills and even in Makati.


When Marian left the states shortly after the US government rejected her immigration appeal, she came to stay for several years at the house of her best friend, Susie. Marian, according to Susie, is married to a Chilean.


When Paqui got his ambassadorship to Mexico, Marian was asked to work there, she, being a fluent Spanish speaker. During Paqui's stint as ambassador, according to Susie, the relationship between her best friend and her husband began.


The last straw, says Susie, is when news about Paqui, her husband, and Marian, coinhabiting together in one of the apartments owned by the Ortigas, came out in public. This, for Susie, is the worst humiliation her husband gave her since they married at the age of 21 in 1968.


Now, the wife wants nothing more than justice, plain and simple.