DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 July) – “A great statesman, mentor, and friend” was how former President Rodrigo Duterte described the late President Fidel Ramos.
Ramos supported Duterte’s bid for the Presidency in 2016. He was among those who convinced him to run for the top post.
“I am one with his wife, Ming, his family, his friends, and the entire Filipino people in mourning the death of a great statesman, mentor, and friend,” Duterte said.
“As we grieve for his loss, let us honor his legacy of service and his significant contributions to the country,” he added.
The Ramos family announced his death in an official statement.
“We thank you all for respecting our privacy, as the family takes some time to grieve together,” the family said.
Wake and funeral arrangements for the former president will be announced later, the family added.
Ramos was President from 1992 to 1998.
Before that, he was Secretary of National Defense from January 22, 1988 to July 18, 1991, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from February 25, 1986 to January 21, 1988, Chief of the Philippine Constabulary from 1972 to February 25, 1986.
He and then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, were among those who withdrew support for the dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Ramos’ second cousin.
Marcos fled Malacanang on February 25, 1986. Corazon Aquino, widow of the assassinated former Senator took over as President.
Marcos’ son and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., was elected President on May 9, 2022.
In a statement, incumbent President Marcos said Ramos “lived a full life as a military officer and public servant.”
“Our family shares the Filipino people’s grief on this sad day. We did not only lose a good leader but also a member of the family,” he said.
In a statement, Vice President Sara Duterte said Ramos as President “made peace possible in Mindanao”w tih the signing of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front under Nur Misuari.
“FVR aggressively championed Filipino competitiveness in the global arena and through his socio-economic agenda called ‘Philippines 2000’, liberalized the country’s economy — resulting in the significant improvements in the average income of Filipino workers,” she said.
“He was a real patriot — one who encouraged men and women in uniform to value their integrity as public servants. May we find inspiration from FVR’s life and the immensity of the legacy that he built out of his love of country and fellow Filipinos,” she said. (MindaNews)