José Ozámiz

José Ozámiz y Fortich (May 5, 1898 – February 11, 1944) was a Spanish Filipino politician from Mindanao who served as a Senator of the 1st Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from Misamis Occidental.

José Ozámiz
Profile Pics - Senator Jose Fortich-Ozamiz large.jpg
Chairman of the Games and Amusements Board
In office
Member of the Philippine National Assembly from Misamis Occidental's Lone District
In office
November 15, 1935 – 1941
Succeeded byEugenio Stuart del Rosario
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Misamis Occidental's Lone District
In office
Preceded byPost created
Governor of Misamis Occidental
In office
Preceded byPost created
Senator of the 1st Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from Misamis Occidental
In office
Personal details
José Ozámiz y Fortich

(1898-05-05)May 5, 1898
Jimenez, Misamis, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedFebruary 11, 1944(1944-02-11) (aged 45)
Fort Santiago
Manila, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista Party
Spouse(s)Lourdes Hyndman

Early lifeEdit

Ozámiz was born on May 5, 1898 to Jenaro Ozámiz from Navarre, Spain and Basilisa Fortich, a Filipino mestizo of Spanish and Cebuano ancestry. Jenaro left Spain at age sixteen and came to Moran, then ended up at the Municipality of Jimenez and engaged in the business of abacá and copra trading which made him very rich, acquiring through the years 3.55 km² in tile province and 10 km² ranch in Bukidnon. José spoke his first languages Spanish, Cebuano, Tagalog and English when Philippines came under American rule.[1]

Jenaro and Basilisa’s son Jose was the oldest and the only boy among ten children. Jose was born on May 5, 1898 in Moran in a house near the “old bridge” His sisters are Pacita, Consuelo, Carmen, Pilar, Remedios, Nieves, Mercedes, Paulita, and Lourdes. Three of Jose's sisters Consuelo, Cannon and Nieves remained distinct and never got married. Two entered politics: one was Consuelo, who was a councilor for six terms in Jimenez and Remedios who became a Congresswoman in Bukidnon. Remedios’ son, Carlos Fortich became a politician also by becoming a governor of Bukidnon.

In 1904, the Ozámiz family transferred to a big house in Jimenez, where they engage themselves in the copra business and ship them off to other islands in the Philippines.

Political careerEdit

He served as Misamis Occidental's first provincial governor then he also served as representative of the Lone District of Misamis Occidental. He was a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention that resulted in the creation of the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth Government. In 1941, he was elected to the Philippine Senate.

World War IIEdit

When the Japanese occupied the country during World War II, Jose was among those who accepted a post in the Japanese government with the blessings of the guerrilla movement who saw that his position would allow him to move discreetly.[2]: 208–209  He became chairperson of the Games and Amusement Board. Then in May 1943 he came to Mindanao to contact Fertig. He came by boat accompanied by Jose Maria and Pelong Campos of Aloran. During his arrival in Mindanao, he met Fertig and Parson, both major leaders of the guerrilla movement.

On his way home, his family was under house arrest. Jose went back to Manila in February 1944. He was arrested on February 11 on his wife's birthday. Jose was condemned to be executed. A Filipino nicknamed "makapili" played a part in his downfall along with twenty-nine other fellow Filipino who also got arrested at the same time. They were the core of the guerilla movement in Manila.

He was beheaded by the Japanese during their occupation of the Philippines during World War II for his involvement in the Resistance Movement.


Other Provincial Governors of Misamis OccidentalEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "City of Ozamis (Ozamiz) : Senator Jose Ozamiz - The forgotten Hero". Old website of the City of Ozamiz. Archived from the original on 2 May 2001. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  2. ^ Keats, J., 1963, They Fought Alone, New York: J.B. Lippincott Company

External linksEdit