Tomas Osmeña back from US trip: I’m cancer-free

Posted on November 15, 2012

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Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña greets supporters in a homecoming event at the Mariner’s Court. Does he look sick at all? (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The Cebu City congressman was all smiles yesterday when he met supporters in a homecoming event at the Mariner’s Court at the ALU compound in pier 1.

“My oncologist told me that I am still free of cancer,” said Rep. Tomas Osmeña about the results of his medical checkup in Texas.

About 40 people, including barangay officials and Type O volunteers greeted him with a “Welcome Home!” banner.

Osmeña denied persistent rumors that he had chemotheraphy in St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila during his absence.

“That’s not true. The last time I went to St. Luke’s was two to three months ago for a blood test,” he said.

Rumors about Osmena suffering a relapse in bladder cancer circulated during his absence, an attack attributed to his political opponents.

Tomas, his wife Councilor Margot Osmena and their son, Miguel, left Cebu on October 21 for the US for his semi-annual checkup and returned three weeks later on Nov. 13.

Osmeña said that if he were indeed sick with cancer again, he wouldn’t be in St. Lukes and would rather seek admission again at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas to get the best treatment.

“I’m alive what else do you want? They said I was dying in 2002. It’s now 2012 and I’m still alive,” said Osmeña.

He said if he had a cancer relapse, he would be the first to announce it to Cebuanos the way he did before.

With his ample health insurance, Osmena said he is qualifed for treatment in the best hospitals in the world.

MD Anderson, where we was treated before, specializes in cancer treatment and research.

Osmena said that he would normally time his checkup abroad with fights of Manny Pacquiao but since the next match is on Dec. 8 yet and the congressman is a wedding sponsor on that day, he decided on an earlier trip.

His critics have challenged him to present a medical certificate that he has a clean bill of health, but Osmena shrugged it off.

“I’m alive what else do you want? If I show a certificate this will not stop. This will only lead to another demand. I’m not going to fall into their trap. They say I am dying in 2002. It’s now 2012 and I’m still alive,” said Osmena.

Besides, if he had cancer, Osmena said, he will be the first to announce it to the Cebuanos just like he did the first time.

Osmeña said rumors that he’s sick again were spread by critics out to solicit election funds from businessmen.

“I’ve been getting feedback that they were trying to solicit from businessmen but they were told that you are going to lose anyway. It’s an act of desperation,” he said.

Osmeña denied that his camp was spreading false rumors that Mayor Michael Rama has prostate cancer.

“I hope he (Rama) doesn’t have cancer but nobody is exempt from having cancer so he should not be talking as if he is exempted,” he said.

Osmeña said cancer is genetically linked and that some relatives of the mayor, including Basak San Nicolas barangay captain George Rama, now have cancer. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters

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