Former President Fidel Ramos mourned by Philippines

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FILE - Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos bites his cigar as he looks on photographs during an exhibit on the 20th anniversary of
FILE - Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos bites his cigar as he looks on photographs during an exhibit on the 20th anniversary of "People Power" in suburban Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 22, 2006. Ramos, a U.S.-trained ex-general who saw action in the Korean and Vietnam wars and played a key role in a 1986 pro-democracy uprising that ousted a dictator, has died. He was 94. Some of Ramos's relatives were with him when he died on Sunday, July 31, 2022, said his longtime aide Norman Legaspi. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

Politicians and leaders of the country, both past and present, have extended their message of condolences to the family of former President Fidel Ramos, who died on Sunday (July 31) due to COVID-19.

“The Ramos family is profoundly saddened to announce the passing of former President Fidel Valdez Ramos,” read his family’s official statement. “We thank you all for respecting our privacy, as the family takes some time to grieve together.”

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who was a distant relative of Ramos through his late father and namesake Ferdinand Marcos Sr. being Ramos’s second cousin, said that he 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,” Marcos added.

Incumbent Vice President Sara Duterte, in a statement, hailed the former leader’s efforts to secure peace in Mindanao during his presidency, and his flagship economic liberalization program “Philippines 2000” that resulted in “significant improvements in the average income of Filipino workers.”

“He was a real patriot – one who encouraged men and women in uniform to value their integrity as public servants,” the vice-president 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,” she added.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, expressed his “deep sadness” over the death of Ramos, and called on the Filipinos to honor his legacy and significant contributions to the country.

“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,” said the former president.

Former Vice President Leni Robredo, in her Facebook post, said that she’s grateful for his support.

“During the 2016 election and during my Vice Presidency, I was able to visit him a number of times,” Atty. Robredo recalled. “He was also very vocal of his support all the time. Patrick (Ramos’s grandson) sent me a video of FVR, in his sickbed, pledging his support for me during the last election.”

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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