Fidel V. Ramos, 12th President of the Philippines (March 18, 1928 - July 31, 2022) (Photo courtesy of Official Gazette)

MANILA – Former president Fidel V. Ramos has died at the age of 94.

The Office of the Press Secretary expressed condolences to the family of Ramos, the country’s 12 Chief Executive from 1992 to 1998.

“It is with great sorrow that we learn of the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos. He leaves behind a colorful legacy and a secure place in history for his participation in the great changes of our country, both as military officer and chief executive. We deeply condole with his family, friends, classmates and associates and keep him in our prayers,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a statement.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also mourned Ramos’ passing.

“The nation lost a great leader. We are one with our fellow countrymen in expressing our deepest condolences to the family of the former president,” Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba, PNP public information office chief, said in another statement.

Alba said Ramos will be remembered for his “valuable contribution into improving the lives of the Filipinos.”

“More than being a military leader and a government official, he served as a good example to humanity through his incomparable wisdom and deeds,” he added

"Fidel Valdez Ramos was a dedicated statesman and a friend of the EU (European Union) under whose term the EU-Philippines relations deepened. FVR was a pillar of democracy and peacebuilding and an icon of the EDSA power revolution,” posted the European Union in the Philippines on Facebook.

On March 18, the FVR Legacy Initiative launched the planned virtual library in celebration of Ramos’ 94th birthday.

Some Cabinet officials of the Ramos administration gave a preview of the online “FVR Presidential Library”, the first and only online presidential library so far in the country.

The virtual library will serve as a repository of FVR lectures and addresses, books, photographs, key memorabilia, and documents.

During his first years as president, he addressed the power shortage he inherited from the previous administration. He also resuscitated the economy by inviting foreign companies to invest in the Philippines.

Peacemaker

It was during his incumbency that the Philippine government signed the historic peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front on Sept. 2, 1996.

Sec. Carlito G. Galvez Jr., Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, said Ramos was instrumental in laying the foundations of the comprehensive peace process.

“Under his administration, the government launched a nationwide consultation process in order to develop a strategy to engage various rebel groups in the country,” he said.

The Ramos administration created the National Unification Commission (NUC), which was primarily tasked to craft "a viable general amnesty program and process that will lead to a just, comprehensive and lasting peace," Galvez said. 

The recommendations gathered from the NUC-led consultations served as inputs in crafting the Six Paths to Peace, which eventually became the framework of the peace process. 

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (now the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity) was created in 1993 to implement the recommendations made by the NUC. 

“It was during the term of President Ramos that government peace negotiating panels with the communist insurgents, military rebels, and the Moro groups were established. These peace panels would be crucial in moving forward the peace talks with the rebel organizations,” Galvez said.

The Philippines is moving closer to realizing its vision of achieving a just and lasting peace "because of the man we will always lovingly refer to as FVR," Galvez said.

"May you find eternal peace in the hands of our Lord, Sir. You will be missed and will always be remembered by the Filipino nation for everything that you have done for our country," he said.

Prior to the presidency, Ramos was the chief of the then-Philippine Constabulary (now Philippine National Police), Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Secretary of the National Defense. (PNA)