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John Henry Renner Osmeña (born January 17, 1936), also known as Sonny Osmeña or simply John Osmeña, is the grandson of Philippine President Sergio Osmeña. He served as Senator of the Philippines from 1971 to 1972, 1987 to 1995, and 1998 to 2004.

John Henry R. Osmeña
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2004
In office
June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1995
In office
December 30, 1971 – September 23, 1972
18th President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
October 10, 1996 – July 12, 2000
PresidentJoseph Estrada
Preceded byBlas Ople
Succeeded byBlas Ople
Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from Cebu's 3rd District
In office
June 30, 1995 – June 30, 1998
Preceded byPablo Garcia
Succeeded byAntonio Yapha, Jr.
Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from Cebu's 2nd District
In office
December 30, 1969 – December 30, 1971
Preceded byJose Briones
Succeeded byCrisologo Abines
Vice Mayor of Cebu City
In office
December 30, 1965 – December 30, 1969
Member of the Cebu City Council
In office
December 30, 1963 – December 30, 1965
Mayor of Toledo
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded byAurelio Espinosa
Personal details
Born (1936-01-17) January 17, 1936 (age 83)
Cebu City, Philippine Islands
Political partyLiberal Party (1963–1992; 2009–)[1]
Other political
Genuine Opposition (2007)

NPC (1992–2007)

Independent (2004)
Spouse(s)Lucy Urgello (separated)

In Cebu City, he started out as City Councilor in 1963, became the Vice-Mayor in 1968 and was elected to the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District the year after.

Osmeña is the incumbent Mayor of the City of Toledo, Cebu as of 2013.


Personal lifeEdit

Osmeña was born on January 17, 1936 in Cebu City, Cebu to Dr. Emilio Veloso Osmeña and María Luisa Renner. He is the brother of former Cebu governor Emilio Mario "Lito" Osmeña, Jr. They have one (1) sister, Annabelle O. Aboitiz, a real estate developer. Osmeña studied and graduated at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

Other known relatives in politics include former Philippine president Sergio Osmeña who is his grandfather, former Senator Sergio "Serging" Osmeña, Jr. who is his uncle, Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III who, also served as a senator, is his cousin, and Cebu City mayor and one-time representative Tomás "Tommy" Osmeña who is also his cousin.

Political lifeEdit

In 1963, Osmeña was elected as councilor of Cebu City. Two years later, in 1965, he was elected as the city's vice mayor. In 1969, he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Philippines representing Cebu's 2nd District.

In 1970, he was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines.

In 1971, he ran as senator. At the Miting De Avance of the Liberal Party on Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971, two grenades exploded, killing 11 and leaving several people wounded. Both of Osmeña’s legs were badly injured. He finished third in the senatorial race

When President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on September 23, 1972, Osmeña went on exile in the United States.

After the assassination of Former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino on August 21, 1983, he was the among the first political exiles to return to the country to help in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship.

He was appointed officer-in-charge mayor of Cebu City after the 1986 People Power Revolution. He was again elected Senator in 1987 under the Lakas ng Bayan Coalition of President Corazon Aquino.

In 1992, he ran for vice president under the Nationalist People's Coalition with businessman Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. as his running mate. He soon withdrew his candidacy and was replaced by Senator Joseph Estrada. He instead sought reelection as senator but he only managed to serve for three years only as he finished in the 23rd place since the 12th to 24th placers of that election were entitled to a three (3) year term only. This was a transitory provision in the Constitution intended to synchronize the terms of Senators, ensuring that the Senate becomes a continuous body.

He became the Representative of the 3rd District of Cebu in 1995 before being elected as senator again in 1998.

Laws authoredEdit

Osmeña sponsored bills like The Municipal Telephone Act (Republic Act 6849) whereby each municipality will receive a telephone system; The Mini-Hydroelectric Program (RA 7156), which will provide non-conventional electricity in the countryside; The Public Telecommunications Act of 1995 (RA 7925), and the creation of the Philippine Postal Corporation (RA 7354). He also authored landmark bills like The Electric Power Crisis Act (RA 7648) and The Build-to-Operate Act (RA 7718).

He was also responsible for the creation of the Department of Energy (DOE) after his Senate Bill was signed into law by President Ramos in 1992 known as RA 7638.

Four bills were incorporated in Republic Act 9136 or otherwise known as The Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2000:

  • Senate Bill 1712 – Creation of National Transmission Company
  • Senate Bill 1621 – Amending Section 5 of RA 7638 or the Department of Energy Law
  • Senate Bill 1943 – Amending Certain Provisions of EO 172 or the Energy Regulatory Board as Amended by RA 8479
  • Senate Bill 2000 – An Act to Modernize and Reform the Power Industry.


In 2004, Osmeña was charged with sexual abuse of a young boy,[2] for which the Department of Justice (DOJ, Republic of the Philippines) cleared him because "there is no probable cause to indict respondent with the offense charged." [3]

In 2007, Vice Governor John Gregory Osmeña, the son of former Senator John Henry Osmeña, was charged by the PDEA for his involvement in the importation of 1,500 kg of pseudo-ephedrine.[4]

In 2004, Senator John Henry Osmeña sued Governor Gwen Garcia for plunder.[5]

Former Vice Governor John Gregory Osmeña, son of Senator John Henry Osmeña, was involved in the Perdido Lex Foundation scam. The staff of the office of the vice governor were the incorporators of Perdido Lex and the home address of the vice governor was utilized as the office of Perdido Lex. The said foundation was granted financial assistance by the Provincial Government for a bogus computerization program.[6]

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ "LP TO SONNY: DON'T RUN, Party wants Cebu City 'united' under Bando Osmeña". Cebu Daily News. 2009-11-19. Archived from the original on 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  2. ^ "Sonny Accused of Call-Boy Rape". Archived from the original on 2004-04-23. Retrieved 2004-04-01.
  3. ^ Calica, Aurea. "DOJ Drops Case vs. John Osmeña". Archived from the original on 2004-10-13. Retrieved 2004-08-18.
  4. ^,11318978
  5. ^,23710479
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2010-04-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)