Arroyo: Ramos was a giant, one of the greatest

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2022 12:43 AM

"A giant among our leaders” and “one of the greatest Filipinos of the 20th century."

That was how the country’s 14th President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, chose to remember the country’s 12th President, the late Fidel Ramos.

Arroyo also paid tribute to Ramos’ various achievements when he was the country’s chief executive from 1992 to 1998.

"Former President Fidel V. Ramos, 'FVR' to most of us, was a giant among our leaders. War hero, model soldier, top-caliber diplomat, pillar of later-day Philippine democracy and a champion of our early moves towards globalization, FVR restored our economic competitiveness, having laid out the macro-economic directions for economic progress that the leaders succeeding him improved on," Arroyo said.

"He is also considered the father of the ubiquitous use of cellphones by deregulating and liberalizing the telecoms industry, which are the best policies to ensure the rapid and cost-effective delivery of communications services," she added.

Arroyo also highlighted Ramos' stabilizing role during the various attempts to oust former President Corazon Aquino as well as Arroyo herself from office.

"He stabilized democracy by saving President Cory from coups," Arroyo said.

"And I will forever remember how he threw his full support for me during the failed coups in the later part of my Presidency," Arroyo added.

Arroyo also conceded she personally owes Ramos much.

"Personally, I owe much to FVR. For one, he founded the LAKAS party which merged with my KAMPI. His was the strongest among the voices that rooted for me when the party’s presidential candidate was being discussed in 2004," Arroyo said.

Arroyo was supposed to run for President in 1998 under her own KAMPI Party but she slid down to become Jose de Vencia’s runningmate when Lakas drafted him as its standard bearer. Ramos endorsed De Venecia and Arroyo but only Arroyo would win as vice-president. De Venecia lost the presidency to Joseph Estrada.

Arroyo urged Filipinos to celebrate Ramos’ life.

"As we grieve the loss of this great man, we must celebrate his life and thank him not only for what he has achieved for the Philippines but most importantly for the example of statesmanship and love of country he held up for Filipinos to emulate."

She also expressed sympathies for the bereaved loved ones of the late former President.

"My prayers go to Mrs. Ming Ramos and the Ramos children as I join the Filipino nation in mourning one of the greatest Filipinos of the 20th Century," Arroyo said.

"I pray that the sorrow felt by his bereaved family can be assuaged by knowing that he is lovingly remembered by the Filipino people," Arroyo added.

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