'Death of a great statesman': Former presidents pay tribute to Fidel Ramos

'Death of a great statesman': Former presidents pay tribute to Fidel Ramos
This file photo taken on February 23, 1999 shows President Joseph Estrada (R) joined by two former presidents, Corazon Aquino (C) and Fidel Ramos (L) as they release white doves as a symbol of peace during the 13th anniversary of the "people power" revolt.
AFP / Bert Marprangala, file

MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Joseph Ejercito Estrada mourned the death of their predecessor, Fidel V. Ramos.

The death of Ramos, who suffered from heart condition and dementia, was confirmed by his family Sunday. He was 94.

Duterte extended his deepest condolences to the Ramos family.

“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.

Duterte also acknowledged Ramos’ “legacy of service and significant contributions."

Estrada, meanwhile, remembered Ramos as “one of the most effective presidents” of the country.

“A military man by training and an engineer and a builder by background, 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 said.

“I mourn the loss of our former president whose many accomplishments will continue to inspire us,” he added.

A war veteran coming from a public service-oriented family, Ramos headed the Philippine Constabulary under the brutal and corrupt Marcos regime in the 70s and 80s. Leading the national police force, Ramos was one of the key officials in the implementation of Martial Law. He later turned around and went against his principal alongside Corazon Aquino, widow of the martyred Marcos critic, Ninoy Aquino. The struggle led to the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. through a people's revolution.

Following his predecessor, Corazon Aquino, Ramos continued reforms and revival of the Philippine economy that took a downturn during Marcos' regime.

It was under Ramos in 1996 when economic growth rose to 6% and inflation went down to 5%, according to a 2000 International Monetary Fund report.

"The new government led by President Fidel Ramos (1992–98) embraced a comprehensive reform strategy aimed at further opening up the economy, reducing macroeconomic imbalances, and addressing other structural rigidities.” — Nillicent Bautista and Matthew Dave Jucon with reports from Dawn Danielle Solano






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