MANILA – Former senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, 84, had not let the invisible tiny virus end his colorful life as a prominent politician, lawmaker and grandson of a Philippine president.
After nearly two weeks of a fierce battle against the virus, he was finally discharged on Wednesday from a hospital in Cebu City. Ferliza Contratista, Toledo City community affairs and development officer who posted on social media a photo of Osmeña smiling and raising an arm as if saying “hey guys I’m fine” while being wheeled out on a stretcher by health front liners said, “There were cheers and claps by hospital staff as he was sent home.”
Johnny O, as he was fondly called in the senate, served for four terms as senator of the Philippines. The first was an unfinished term in 1971 to 1972 when then President Ferdinand Marcos abolished congress after declaring Martial Law and the next was in 1987 to 1995 under the “revolutionary” government of President Cory Aquino and her successor President Fidel V. Ramos, and the last was in 1998 to 2004 under President Erap Estrada and then replaced by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He served as Mayor of Toledo City from 2013 to 2019.
Senator Osmeña is also known as the “Lone Ranger” for his independent mindedness and taking fearless stance despite overwhelming odds. He is known graft-buster in the senate and very vigorous opponent of the perceived term extension of then President Fidel V. Ramos who succeeded Pres. Cory. He authored many landmark laws like the Electric Power Crisis Act, the Build Operate Law, Electric Power Industry Reform Act in 2000, and the law that created the Department of Energy.