Senate honors ‘Lone Ranger,’ ‘graft buster’ John Osmeña
MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Wednesday honored former Senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña as they mourned the passing of a dedicated and “fearless” public servant.
During the plenary session, senators adopted Senate Resolution No. 635, “expressing the Senate’s profound sympathy and sincere condolences on the death” of Osmeña.
In sponsoring the resolution, Senate President Vicente Sotto III praised Osmeña for being a “great leader in his own right.”
“Leaders, according to psychologists, are said to be made, not born. But I believe that former senator John…was both. He was born to lead, and he even mastered it along the way. As a matter of fact, public service was his calling as he started to be in government at such a young age and continued to be one until his passing,” Sotto said.
Coming from a well known political family, Sotto surmised that Osmeña faced a lot of pressure to “follow the footsteps of the grandfather or leave a lasting legacy as his ancestors did.”
John Osmeña, the grandson of late President Sergio Osmeña Sr. and the nephew of former Senator Sergio Osmeña Jr., served as a senator from 1971 to 1972, 1987 to 1995, and 1998 to 2004.
“But certainly, that was not the case for Senator Sonny Osmeña. He made a name for himself; he was a great leader in his own right,” Sotto said, noting that Osmeña served as a city councilor, a vice mayor, a mayor, a congressman, and eventually a senator in four Congresses.
‘Lone Ranger, graft buster’
Dubbed as the “Lone Ranger” during his days in the Senate, Sotto said Osmeña was known for his “independent-mindedness and stance even if the odds were not in his favor.”
“If he takes a stand, he holds on to it, no matter what. Truly a man of conviction, that is what he is,” the Senate president said.
Osmeña was also known as a “graft buster” in the Senate, he added.
“[He was the] man behind numerous Senate investigations of government offices and officials, who were involved in irregular and anomalous transactions,” Sotto said.
“Records would show that he expose led to the resignation of involved corruption officials, he is indeed fearless and a fighter in words and deeds,” he added.
Osmeña passed away in his condominium unit in Cebu City on Tuesday afternoon. He was 86.
The cause of his death has yet to be disclosed, but his staff member said he was immediately cremated. In July 2020, Osmeña tested positive for the COVID-19 but soon recovered.
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