Former Philippine President Fidel Valdez Ramos, a US-trained ex-general who saw action in the Korean and Vietnam wars and played a key role in a 1986 pro-democracy uprising that toppled a dictator, has died. He was 94 years old.
Ramos’ family announced his death with deep sadness, but did not provide other details in a brief statement asking for privacy.
One of his longtime collaborators, Norman Legaspi, told The Associated Press that Ramos had been in and out of hospital in recent years due to a heart condition and was suffering from dementia.
Legaspi said some of Ramos’s relatives were with him when he died on Sunday at Makati Medical Center in metropolitan Manila.
“He was an icon. We lost a hero and I lost a father,” said Legaspi, a retired Philippine Air Force officer who served as a close employee of Ramos, inside and outside the government for nearly 15 years.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. offered condolences to Ramos’ family in a Facebook post. “We have not only lost a good leader but also a family member.
The newly-elected president is the namesake of the former Philippine dictator, whose 1986 expulsion came after Ramos, then a top official of the Philippine Constabulary, and defense chief Juan Ponce Enrale withdrew his support for the defections, which largely led to the military. – gave rise to supported protests.
Ramos was the late dictator’s second cousin.
The United States, the European Union and other foreign governments expressed their condolences. “His contribution to the US-Philippines bilateral relationship and to advancing our shared goals of peace and democracy will always be remembered,” the US embassy in Manila said.
Cigar-chomping Ramos, known for his “we can do this” rally call, thumbs-up sign, attention to detail and firm handshakes, served as president from 1992 to 1998, a symbol of democracy. After Corazon Aquino.
She rose to the presidency in 1986 after a largely peaceful “People Power” uprising that toppled the elder Marcos and became a harbinger of a worldwide transition to authoritarian regimes.
In a memorable moment of rebellion, as the tide turned against Marcos, Ramos jumped in victory with his hands while Enrill was rallying the crowd under a Philippine flagpole, drawing applause and cheer from the rebel forces.
The scene was captured by an AP and a few other photojournalists and re-exhibited by Ramos every year during the anniversary of the rebellion, until age and his failing health prevented him from showing.
Marcos, his family and companions were taken into American exile, where he died in 1989.
After Aquino became president, Ramos became military chief and later secretary of defense, successfully defending him from several violent coup attempts.
In 1992, Ramos won the presidential election and became the first Protestant president of a largely Roman Catholic nation. His tenure was marked by major reforms and efforts to end telecommunications and other business monopolies, which sparked a rare economic boom, cemented the poor Southeast Asian country’s image and received praise from business leaders and the international community. Of.
One of his legacies was the signing in 1996 of a peace deal between his government and the Moro National Liberation Front, the largest Muslim separatist group in the then unstable southern Philippines, home to minority Muslims.
Ramos’ calm demeanor in times of crisis earned him the nickname “Stable Eddie”. The son of a longtime legislator and foreign secretary, Ramos graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1950. He was part of the Philippine War Corps that fought in the Korean War and was also involved in the Vietnam War as a non. Compete civilian military engineer.
Ramos is survived by his wife, Amelita “Ming” Ramos, a school official, pianist, sports and environmental advocate, and their four daughters. Their second child, Josephine “Joe” Ramos-Samartino, died in 2011.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced