Northern Samar

Former Northern Samar lawmaker Emil Ong dies

Lance Lim
Former Northern Samar lawmaker Emil Ong dies

File photo of Former Northern Samar second district representative Emil L. Ong

Emil Ong, a certified public accountant and lawyer, also served as administrator of the National Food Authority during the time of President Corazon Aquino

Former Northern Samar second district representative Emil L. Ong died on Thursday, September 16.

Ong’s son, incumbent Northern Samar governor Edwin Ongchuan, confirmed the news in a Facebook post late Thursday afternoon.

“Our beloved father, Cong Emil whose heart and mind is always in Northern Samar, is now in God’s arms at around 1 pm today. He will always be our guide and will be watching over us,” Edwin wrote in his post.

Ong, a certified public accountant and lawyer, served as administrator of the National Food Authority during the time of President Corazon Aquino.

He was a three-term congressman of the second district of Northern Samar, from 2007 to 2016. He also served as the provincial chair of the National Unity Party.

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He is known for pushing eco-tourism in the second district of Northern Samar particularly its undiscovered natural wonders in Las Navas town, such as the Pinipisakan Falls and the Ginagatusan Caves.

In 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman indicted the former Northern Samar representative for his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

He faced multiple criminal charges along with 24 others for his alleged misuse of the fund amounting to P62 million from 2007 to 2009.

Ong comes from an influential family in Northern Samar. His sister-in-law Madeleine Ong, became the second female governor of Samar, serving from 1998 to 2001.

His younger brother, Jose “Jun” Ong Jr., was elected governor of the province in 2013.

After his brother’s term ended in 2019, his son Edwin took over the gubernatorial post in Northern Samar.

The family of Ong has yet to confirm the cause of his death. Details on the wake and interment services have yet to be announced as well. – Rappler.com

Lance Lim is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.