Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez was one of the youngest delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, where he openly opposed the dictatorship and refused to sign the Marcos-dictated charter. He fought the regime after that, earning for himself a shoot-to-kill order from Marcos that pushed him to escape to the US. While there, he joined forces with Ninoy Aquino.

After former Senator Aquino was assassinated, Alvarez founded the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM), which was described by the Wall Street Journal as “the biggest and best organized opposition movement in the US.” NAM was responsible for the search and discovery of Marcos’ hidden wealth, as it exposed the story to the world in a Pulitzer Prize winning series in the San Jose Mercury News. Alvarez was also agrarian reform secretary during Cory Aquino’s presidency.

Alvarez served as a Philippine senator for two terms, for a total of 12 years. When Alvarez was already a member of the House of Representatives, he initiated the impeachment complaint filed against former President Joseph Estrada. This move paved the way for the second people power action on EDSA. In recognition of his contribution, Alvarez was conferred the Freedom Award by the People Power Commission.

In 2008, he was named Presidential Adviser on Climate Change; but in in December 2009 and January 2010, it was reported that his support for the Copenhagen Agreement with President Arroyo’s approval caused the country diplomatic embarrassment. He is now the secretary of the Climate Change Commission.

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