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‘Great leader’: Senators grieve death of ex-President Ramos

/ 07:29 PM July 31, 2022
Fidel V. Ramos. STORY: ‘Great leader’: Senators grieve death of ex-President Ramos

Former President Fidel V. Ramos. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Updated @ 10:58 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Sunday grieved the death of former President Fidel Valdez Ramos, who they remembered as a “great leader” and “an inspiration,” who “served the country well.”

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Ramos died at the age of 94 on Sunday, as confirmed Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.,  co-chair of the the Lakas–Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas–CMD).

“The news is heavy and saddening, that the man I consider my father in public service, Fidel V. Ramos, has passed away,” Revilla said in Filipino.

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Revilla said it was the former president who convinced him to become a public servant by inviting him to Lakas–CMD.

“Up to this day, FVR is an inspiration and an example I greatly look up to,” he said.

He cited Ramos’ legacy, calling it the “foundation upon which later administrations have built upon.”

“He transformed the Philippines from being the Sick Man of Asia to the Tiger of the Region,” said Revilla.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III reminisced about being elected at the same time as Ramos in 1992, adding that he himself was a witness to how Ramos did his best to unify the country.

“Indeed he served the country well,” said Sotto in a statement.

Sen. Grace Poe called Ramos a “steadfast leader,” and a “democracy icon.”

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“His resolute vision paved the way for real economic gains that brought the Philippines to a rising tiger status. The occasions I met with former President FVR left indelible lessons on being a firm and dedicated public servant,” Poe said.

Sen. Joel Villanueva remembered Ramos for his dream of turning the country into a “Tiger Economy,” which he said would “always stay alive in the hearts of every Filipino.”

He also extended his condolences to the Ramos family.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri also cited Ramos’ legacy of economic progress as he tagged him as one of the country’s brightest leaders, who was “able to quickly assess the landscape, and formulate the best way forward through consultation and consensus.”

“That was his legacy as President — he left behind a brand of democratic leadership that allowed for us to grow into the new Asian tiger of the nineties,” Zubiri said.

He also cited Ramos’ efforts in uniting Filipinos through peace processes, reminiscing when Ramos met eye to eye with armed groups.

“Even well past his days in Malacañang, he was committed to helping the country regain and maintain its status as a center of socio-economic progress. He never stopped being a brilliant and committed leader, and we are a poorer nation for his loss,”  Zubiri said.

Sen. Nancy Binay said the “nation lost one of its leading lights.”

She also cited the country’s economic gains during the Ramos administration and his efforts in pursuing peace processes with armed rebel groups.

“Under FVR’s leadership, the people enjoyed peace, stability, and development,” Binay said in Filipino. “In this time of deep sadness, I join the Filipino people in mourning the passing of an excellent, effective, and great leader the nation has known.”

Sen. Sonny Angara remembered Ramos for his reforms, which included the breakup of the telco monopoly, the resolution of a period of frequent brownouts, and the beginning of the peace process with Muslim Filipinos.

Sen. Lito Lapid, meanwhile, noted that the country has lost another “strong leader.”

“For the rest of our lives, we will be grateful for his service to the country and we know that he did everything as a member of the Armed Forces and as a leader of the country because of his love for our Motherland,” Lapid said.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also noted Ramos’ legacies, hich he said became the foundation for his successors, including his father, Joseph Estrada, who succeeded Ramos to the presidency.

“The achievements and significant programs under his administration, particularly in the opening of the economy and investment, became the foundation of subsequent presidents, including the term of my father,” Estrada said. “We honor his legacy and service to the country. I join the Filipino nation in mourning the passing of a brave soldier, visionary leader, true public servant, and patriot. May his soul Rest in Peace.”

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