Human Interest

Farewell FVR: Tributes to ex-president, Philippines ‘symbol of stability’

Manila, Aug 4 (EFE).- Philippines leaders Thursday paid glowing tributes to the former president, Fidel V. Ramos, who died over the weekend at 94.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the nation at the farewell of the former president at the Heritage Park in Taguig City of Manila and honored him for his service to the country “both as a soldier and a public servant.”

“We clearly have suffered the loss for our country. But, the memories of him will be good because of the good work he did for the Philippines,” the president told reporters at the farewell.

Marcos Jr. described the wake as a “family event,” for the deceased distant uncle.

Ramos was the second cousin of the father of Marcos, the late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Marcos Jr. said he offered condolences to Ramos’ wife Amelita and spoke about how Ramos brought “calm” and “stablility” after the 1986 People Power Revolution.

“I just reminded Mrs. Ramos of how FVR, when he became president, was a symbol of stability after all the tumultuous events of 1986. When he came into the presidency he brought calm and he brought stability to our country,” the president said.

Ramos passed away on Sunday after suffering from complications related to Covid-19, his relatives said.

The wake will last until next Aug.9, when he will be laid to rest in the cemetery of the heroes of Manila.

The Philippine authorities have decreed a period of official mourning until then.

The former first lady, Amelita Ramos, recognized how his husband worked hard during his years in active government service.

“He worked hard, we also tried to work hard, and now he deserves the rest that he needs,” she said.

Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the 21-gun salute to be given during Ramos’ inurnment at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani on Aug.9 is the highest honor a nation can provide.

The gun salute is rendered to the national flag, sovereign, or chief of state of a foreign nation, the President and former President, Trinidad said.

Ramos was the 12th president, serving from 1992 to 1998, of the Philippines.

During his presidency, the archipelago opened to foreign investment.

Born in 1928 in the northern Pangasinan province, FVR graduated as a soldier from the American Academy in 1950 and joined the Philippine armed forces upon his return to the country.

He rose through the ranks until Marcos appointed him head of the police in 1972.

His stature grew during the peaceful popular revolt in 1986 when he defected from the Marcos camp to support the protests.

The defection proved instrumental in the fall and exile of Marco, who died in Hawaii in the US in 1989. EFE

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