Sergio Osmeña III
|Political Party:|| PDP-Laban (2001- )|
Liberal Party (1998-2001)
|Born:|| December 13, 1943|
|Spouse:||Bettina Mejia Lopez|
Sergio "Serge" de la Rama Osmeña III is a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. He is known to be a fiercely independent and fearless fiscalizer. He earned the respect of many citizens for his numerous exposes on graft and corruption, most of which were anomalous government projects.
Early life and career
Osmeña was born on December 13, 1943 in Manila to Sergio Osmeña, Jr. and Lourdes de la Rama. He finished his elementary studies at De la Salle College. He studied his secondary studies at the St. Clement’s College in Iloilo, Ateneo de Manila and Beaumont College in Berkshire, England. Although he has never obtained a university degree, he studied in various educational institutions which include University of San Carlos, University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Harvard University, and Georgetown University.
Osmeña held various business positions these includes:
- Assistant to President, Essel Incorporated, from 1967 to 1972
- Assistant to President, Cebu Autobus Company, from 1967 to 1972
- Assistant to President, De La Rama Steamship Co., Inc., from 1966 to 1972
- General Manager, LRO (Lourdes de la Rama Osmeña) Farms/ Hacienda Doña Pepang, from 1968 to 1972
- Chairman, Cebu Contracting Company, from 1968 to 1972
As a son of Marcos' political rival, Osmeña was unjustly imprisoned in 1972. In November 1974, he embarked on a hunger strike along with his cellmate -- ABS-CBN's Eugenio "Geny" Lopez, Jr. -- to protest the unjust detention of thousands of innocent Filipinos. This resulted in the release of 1,022 political prisoners in December 1974. Defiant to the very end, Osmeña and Lopez subsequently executed a daring escape from their maximum security prison cell in Fort Bonifacio in 1977. This exploit was enacted in the 1995 movie, Eskapo.
While in exile at the United States, Sergio Osmeña served as the Director for Movement for a Free Philippines. He was also the Founding Director of the Justice for Aquino Justice for All (JAJA) Movement.
After the removal of Marcos, Osmeña returned to the Philippines and held various positions in business and government corporations in the 90s. These include:
- Director, Pacific CATV, Incorporated, from 1994 to 1995
- Director, Telecommunications Holdings Corporation, from 1994 to 1995
- Chairman, Intervest Group, from 1994 to 1995
- Director, Micrologic Systems, Incorporated, from 1994 to 1995
- Director, Philippine National Bank from 1992 to 1995
- Director, San Miguel Corporation, from 1993 to 1995
In 1992, Osmena ran for Congressman in Cebu's Sixth District.
In 1995, Osmeña was invited by President Fidel Ramos to join in the senatorial race under the Lakas-Laban ticket. He won in the elections and served his term as senator from 1995-2001. During that term he was tasked to look for a new site of the Senate after the old Executive Building will be renovated for the National Museum. The Senate offices and session hall were transferred to the GSIS Building at the Financial Center in Pasay City.
In 1997, Osmeña bolted Lakas NUCD to be an independent senator. In 1998, he joined the Liberal Party. In the 1998 elections, He ran for the position of Vice President as a running mate of Manila mayor Alfredo Lim. He lost however, to Senator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
In 2001, Osmeña was one of the senators who voted in favor of opening the second bank envelope for the impeachment case filed against Joseph Estrada. The motion was outnumbered, and it led to the second EDSA People Power Revolution. He ran as independent for the position of Senator under the People Power Coalition. He won in the elections and he is currently serving his term as senator since 2001. His term will expire on 2007. Right after Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. was replaced by Senator Franklin Drilon as Senate President, he joined the Pimentel's party PDP-Laban.
Admiration and criticisms
Osmeña campaigned relentlessly for justice for victims of toxic wastes at the former U.S. bases in Clark Air Base and Subic Bay. He has extended assistance to victims in the form of hospitalization and financial support. He has earned the reputation of being the Senate's fearless fiscalizer. Known to be fiercely independent, he has earned the respect of many for his numerous exposes on graft and corruption, among others the anomalous IMPSA-CBK, PIATCO, Tiwi-Makban, Marconi and Casecnan contracts, saving billions of pesos for the Filipino people. During his first year in the Philippine Senate in 1995, he was already recognized by the Free Press magazine as "Most Outstanding Freshman Senator" for this exposes.
Osmeña was criticized being close to the Lopez group. He is less vocal when issues are involved to its line of business which includes MERALCO, Maynilad Water Services, SkyCable, Manila North Tollways, and ABS-CBN.
He was also criticized being a political turncoat. He was initially part of Lakas-NUCD-UMDP in the early 1990s then transferred to Liberal Party. He then joined the People Power Coalition in early 2001 and transferred to PDP-Laban in late 2001. His grandfather, Sergio Osmeña belongs to the Nacionalista Party while his father Sergio Osmeña Jr. was once member of the Nacionalista Party but transferred to Liberal Party when he challenged Ferdinand Marcos in the 1969 elections.
Serge, as what many people call him, is a farmer and businessman by training and was educated at Harvard, Georgetown, and the University of the Philippines. He is married to Isabel Mejia Lopez of Iloilo, Pampanga, and Leyte and has six children.
Serge came from a family of senators. His grandfather Sergio Sr. served during the American colonial period. His father Sergio Jr. served in the 1960s. His cousin, John Henry served in the Senate from 1971-1972, 1987-1992,1992-1995 and 1998-2004. His maternal grandfather, Esteban de la Rama was also a senator.
His nephew John Gregory served as Provincial Vice Governor of Cebu and his younger brother Tomas III is the current mayor of Cebu City. Unlike him, Tommy is a close ally of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He speaks various languages and dialects which includes American English|English, Tagalog, Sugboanon, and Hiligaynon. He was bestowed Doctor of Laws – Honoris Causa, by the Benguet State University in 2000.
He is currently the Chairman of the Aquaworld Corporation, which he held since 1992. While serving his initial term as senator he held a concurrent position as Director of San Miguel Brewery (HK), Ltd.
He was a member of the Philippine Jaycees, where he served as a senator in 1994. He founded Pundok Sugbuanon while he lived in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1992. He is one the current Directors of the ABS-CBN Bayan Microfinance Foundation, which held since 1999, and the Lorenzo Tañada Foundation, which held since 1998.
|Senators of the 14th Congress of the Philippines|
|Term ends June 30, 2010||Biazon · Lapid · Estrada · Enrile · P. Cayetano · Santiago · Gordon · Madrigal · Pimentel, Jr. · Revilla, Jr. · Roxas II|
|Term ends June 30, 2013||Angara, Jr. · Aquino III · Arroyo · A.P. Cayetano · Escudero · Honasan · Lacson · Legarda · Pangilinan · Trillanes IV · Villar, Jr. · Zubiri|