Leaders from the Philippines and all over the world paid tribute to former President Fidel V. Ramos, as they paid their last respects and expressed their condolences to his widow, former First Lady Amelita Ramos, his family, and to the whole Filipino people.
On Thursday morning (Aug. 4), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited Ramos’s wake at the Heritage Park in Taguig. He called Ramos “a symbol of stability after all the tumultuous events of 1986.”
“We clearly have suffered a loss for our country. But the memories of him will be good because of all the good work he did for the Philippines,” Marcos, who is also Ramos’s distant nephew, said.
The President arrived past 10 in the morning, accompanied by Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez and Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr. Ahead of his visit, he and his vice president, Sara Duterte-Carpio, sent funeral wreaths.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by his former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Senator Bong Go, visited Ramos’s wake on Thursday evening.
“[H]e was the first one to push me to run and the first one to contribute money,” he said.
Meanwhile, the international community hailed Ramos’s contributions not just to the country but to the world.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a statement, said that Ramos was known as a “foreign policy president who shaped the evolution of the DFA” for reforming the country’s diplomatic relations with other nations and making the protection of Filipino overseas workers as one of the top diplomatic policies of his administration.
United States (US) Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, said that the US will always remember Ramos’s contributions to the US–Philippines bilateral relationship.
Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian said on Facebook that he was deeply saddened by the passing of Ramos, and praised him for his contribution to the bilateral relationship between Philippines and China, and his significant contribution in the establishment of the Boao Forum for Asia.
“He was one of the first to propose the establishment of ‘Asia Forum’ in 1998 which incubated the Boao Forum for Asia in 2001,” the Chinese Ambassador said. “The Chinese Embassy is deeply grieved by the loss of an old friend. He will be missed by all of us.”
Singapore Emeritus Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong, has personally paid tribute to the former Philippine President on Thursday, saying that he and Ramos “became close friends.”
“I called him ‘Eddie.’ He was well-disposed towards Singapore, and always greeted me with a cheery Mabuhay! We played golf together several times,” Goh said in a Facebook post.
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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