MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - Tributes poured in for former President Fidel V. Ramos as friends and colleagues mourn the passing of the Philippines' 12th Chief Executive.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday condoled with the Ramos' family and hailed the former president as having “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.
Ramos is the second cousin of the incumbent President's father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“I call on all Filipinos to pray for the eternal repose of Mr. Ramos,” he said.
“The legacy of his presidency will always be cherished and will be forever enshrined in the hearts of our grateful nation,” Marcos Jr said.
Vice President Sara Duterte also extended her condolences to the Ramos family, as she emphasized the late leader's role in the peace process in Mindanao.
"I am one with the whole nation in grieving over the loss of a leader who, during his presidency, made peace possible in Mindanao. In 1996, he signed the peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which ended the 24-year Moro armed revolution headed by Nur Misuari," she said.
"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," Sara Duterte added.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Ramos "leaves behind a colorful legacy and a secure place in history for his participation in the great changes of our country, both as military officer and chief executive."
Former president Joseph Estrada, who was Ramos' vice president, said he was "profoundly shocked" to learn of Ramos's passing.
"I am profoundly shocked to learn of the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos. I extend my deepest condolences to the family of my predecessor who will be remembered as one of the most effective presidents in our nation's history," he said.
"He brought to the presidency a different view of how problems should be dealt with, overcoming them in the most pragmatic, cost-effective, and fastest way," he added.
Former president Rodrigo Duterte likewise expressed his grief at Ramos' passing.
"It is with deep sadness to learn of the death of former president Fidel Valdez Ramos. 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," he said.
Ramos was among those who convinced Duterte to run for president.
"As we grieve for his loss, let us honor his legacy of service and his significant contributions to the country," Duterte added.
Former Speaker Jose de Venecia also joined the roster of former Philippine government officials who expressed their sadness at Ramos' passing.
"A hero of the Edsa People Power Revolution and veteran of the Vietnam and Korean wars, former President Ramos served our country with great distinction, as a decorated military officer who eventually became Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Secretary of National Defense, and President of the Philippines," he said.
De Venecia and Ramos, along late Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul Manglapus, founded the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP, now Lakas-CMD. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives during the Ramos administration.
Both Ramos and De Venecia are also from the province of Pangasinan.
"Farewell, Mr. President. You will always be remembered," De Venecia said.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri mourned the loss of Ramos, who he called one of the country's brightest leaders.
"We have lost a truly brilliant man. President Ramos was probably one of our brightest leaders, who always seemed a step ahead of everyone," he said in a statement.
"Maybe it was his military background, but as a politician he was always able to quickly assess the landscape and formulate the best way forward through consultation and consensus," Zubiri added.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez, also a member of Lakas-CMD, expressed his grief at the passing of Ramos.
"We all grieve because we lost a great leader and a dear friend. One who is a pillar of strength and an inspiration to all," he said.
"FVR is a tough act to follow. His legacy will never be forgotten," he added.
Former Senate President Vicente Sotto III remembered how Ramos did his best to unify the country during his term.
"We were elected at the same time in 1992 and I was a witness to how he did his best to unify the country and people. Indeed he served the country well!" he said.
Senator Grace Poe called Ramos a "steadfast leader and democracy icon" who paved the way for the Philippines to gain a rising tiger status.
"With the Filipino people, we mourn the passing of a steadfast leader and democracy icon. His resolute vision paved the way for real economic gains that brought the Philippines to a rising tiger status," she said.
Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. also expressed his condolences for the bereaved family of his "inspiration".
"It was President Ramos who convinced me to join public service as he invited me to Lakas-CMD. After some three decades, I continue to be with Lakas espousing its ideals. He was my first and true mentor as I forayed into politics, being elected as Cavite's Vice Governor in 1995. Up to this day, FVR is an inspiration and an example I greatly look up to," he said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, for her part, called Ramos "captain of our ship of state" during his administration.
"We owe our tiger economy status then to FVR. I learned my "CSW" or complete staff work from him. He was a disciplined leader, he was able to unite various factions despite being a minority President upon his election," she said.
Senator Sonny Angara also paid tribute to Ramos and his legacies, which includes the beginning of the peace process in Mindanao, among others.
"May former President Fidel V. Ramos rest in peace - we condole with his family and friends; a lot of reforms happened during his presidency - the breakup of the telco monopoly, the resolution of the power situation/brownouts; the beginning of the peace process with our brother Muslims; among others," he said.
Senator Joel Villanueva also credited Ramos for the economic gains of the country during his administration.
"We join the rest of the nation in mourning the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos. Pres. FVR will always be remembered for leading the nation into the new millennium. His dream of turning the country into a “Tiger Economy” will always stay alive in the hearts of every Filipino. His iconic thumbs up sign and his “Kaya Natin” mentality will continue to give us inspiration to push for progress in our country," he said.
Senator Lito Lapid also remembered Ramos as a president and soldier.
"Habang buhay nating tatanawin na utang na loob ang kanyang serbisyo sa bayan at alam nating ginawa nya ang lahat bilang miyembro ng Sandatahang Lakas at bilang lider ng bansa dahil sa pagmamahal nya sa ating Inang Bayan," he said.
Senator Nancy Binay, for her part, remembered Ramos as a peace-builder.
"The Filipino people lived in a time of hope during former President Fidel Valdez Ramos' tenure. FVR oversaw massive economic gains for the country that were translated to programs for the welfare of the people," she said.
"Sa pamumuno ni FVR, tinamasa ng sambayanan ang kapayapaan, katatagan, at pag-unlad," she also said.
Senator Christopher "Bong" Go also reminisced the country's economic gains under the Ramos administration.
"FVR, as he is fondly called, paved the way for our global competitiveness under his Philippines 2000 platform. The many success stories under his administration become relevant again as we gradually emerge from the pandemic and regain our position in the regional economic arena," he said.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada also extended his condolences to the Ramos family.
"I join the Filipino nation in mourning the passing of a brave soldier, visionary leader, true public servant and patriot," he said.
Ramos, 94, passed away Sunday, according to Malacañang.
Former senator Panfilo Lacson also hailed Ramos.
"All my life as a soldier and policeman, he was my superior officer through and through. He made me Lieutenant Colonel at age 31 and handed me my first star at age 45. Rest In Peace, Sir," Lacson said.
Albay Second District Representative Joy Salceda also mourned the passing of his "mentor and model".
"The former President helped birth my career in public service. During the peak of my career in private sector as an analyst, President Ramos would consult me on matters of national concern. That was when I became convinced that I could serve the country in a greater way. Just as he was leaving office, I ran for Congressman in Albay," he said.
ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo likewise extended her condolences to the Ramos family.
"Ako, ang aking pamilya at ang buong ACT-CIS Partylist ay taos-pusong nakikiramay sa pamilya at mga kaanak ng yumaong dating Pangulong Fidel Valdez Ramos," she said.
"His decisive and remarkable leadership has lead the country in restoring its economic growth and stability and paved the way to technological developments. Truly, his invaluable service and contributions to the country will always be remembered and his passing will be mourned by the Filipino people and the nation. Paalam at Maraming Salamat Pangulong Fidel Valdez Ramos," she added.
Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon also honored Ramos, who used to live in the city.
"Together with many of my fellow Muntinlupeños, we mourn the passing of a great Filipino statesman, Fidel Valdez Ramos. A former President, Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he has led Filipinos in thos different capacities with the highest degree of patriotism, integrity and competence," he said.
Laguna Rep. Marlyn Alonte thanked Ramos and his economic agendas and reforms for the development of Biñan City.
"The industrial estates and ecozones here in and around Biñan are the direct result of President Ramos’ economic agenda and reforms. Our city would not be where it is today if not for President FVR. Our constituents in Biñan would not have the jobs, schools, businesses, and transportation services they have today if not for the Ramos administration," she said.
"The time of President FVR is recorded in history as a strong period of progress and political development. Our country’s democratic institutions became strong under his administration," Alonte added.
Rizal 4th District Rep. Fidel Nograles, who is a member of Lakas-CMD, said it was Ramos' kind of leadership that made him decide to join the party.
"FVR’s inspiring and effective leadership brought about political stability, prosperity, and social programs for the people," he said.
"His servant leadership was exactly the kind that I aspired to when I joined public service and the political party that he founded, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD). Our nation is made poorer by his passing," he added.
Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., also extended his sympathies and condolences to the Ramos family.
"We lost a great leader. Coalition-building is the heart of his governance. My deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of former President Fidel V. Ramos," he said.
Ramos served as the country's President from 1992 to 1998, succeeding Corazon Aquino as the Philippines' second president after the People Power Revolution.
His administration was best known for its "Philippines 2000" program, which aimed to make the country industrialized by the year 2000 onwards. This program is often credited with revitalizing the country's economy.
MILITARY, OTHER AGENCIES
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Army and the Department of Health also extended their condolences as they remembered what Ramos did for their respective agencies during his presidency.
"President Ramos dedicated most of his life to the service of our country serving as Chief of the Philippine Constabulary from 1972 to 1986 and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 1986 to 1988. He also headed the Department of National Defense as Secretary from 1988 until 1991," the AFP said, adding that Ramos will be given the traditional military funeral.
"President Ramos, affectionately called FVR, sought the modernization of the military through the enactment of the 15-year AFP Modernization Act. President Ramos also recognized that problems of national security and stability cannot be resolved by military action alone. To this end, he mandated the active integration and coordination of development and peace-oriented initiatives through the revitalization of the National Security Council," the Philippine Army said.
"As we honor his life and legacy, the 110,000-strong Philippine Army offers our snappiest salute to former President and Commander-in-Chief Ramos," the PA added.
"President Ramos had a broad vision and dedication towards the health of all Filipinos. It was during his term that landmark health laws such as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide of 1995, and National Health Insurance Act of 1995 came into force," the DOH said.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, under Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., also paid tribute to Ramos, who he credited for "laying the foundations of the comprehensive Philippine peace process".
"PFVR was instrumental in laying the foundations of the comprehensive Philippine peace process. Under his administration, the government launched a nationwide consultation process in order to develop a strategy to engage various rebel groups in the country," Galvez said.
"Former President Fidel V Ramos was a statesman, development planner and visionary rolled into one. Under his leadership, the Philippines was able to resolve a debilitating power crisis and shed its image as the “sick old man” of Asia to become one of the region’s emerging “Tiger” economies."
"But the former president will be remembered, first and foremost, for his major contributions to the Philippine peace process, which succeeding administrations have worked hard to build on and sustain over the years," he added.
The US Embassy also mourned Ramos' death.
"As a longtime friend and partner of the United States, his contributions to the US-Philippines bilateral relationship and advancing our shared goals of peace and democracy will always be remembered," the Embassy said in a statement.
Ramos graduated from the prestigious US Military Acedmy in West Point.
- with reports from Katrina Domingo, RG Cruz, Anjo Bagaoisan and Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News