MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vowed to carry on with former president Fidel V. Ramos' legacy by upholding his commitment to public service and peace.
"We shall honor his passion and exemplary commitment to public service, and continue to carry on his aspiration for a just and lasting peace in our country," AFP acting spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement Sunday night.
He added that Ramos positive outlook and peace advocacy will always be remembered by the Filipino people.
"It was during his Presidency when the final peace accord was signed between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front," Aguilar said.
Ramos served as the Philippines' 12th president from 1992 to 1998.
"President Ramos dedicated most of his life to the service of our country serving as Chief of the Philippine Constabulary from 1972 to 1986 and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 1986 to 1988. He also headed the Department of National Defense as Secretary from 1988 until 1991," he said.
"As part of its mandate, the AFP is prepared to render traditional military funeral services as our final salute to the departed former Commander-in-Chief. Flags in all military installations shall be raised at half mast in solidarity to the grieving nation," he added.
The Philippine flag at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City was flown in half-mast during Monday's flag-raising rites
AFP officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian human resources wore black bands to commiserate with the passing of the former commander-in-chief.
“President Fidel Valdes Ramos left a legacy of leadership, excellence, and sterling public service to the entire Filipino nation. He shall always be remembered with high respect and admiration from his former colleagues, subordinates, and peers,” the AFP announced.
The AFP also honored the former president with an eight-gun salute which started around 5 a.m.
This will be followed by one-gun salute every 30 minutes with the last one being given at 5 p.m.
A 21-gun salute will also be provided upon Ramos' interment.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army (PA) also joined Filipinos in mourning the passing of the former president.
"The nation mourns the loss of a great leader and an illustrious soldier who truly embodied the Army’s core values of honor, duty, and patriotism. The Philippine Army joins the Filipino nation in mourning the passing of former President Ramos," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said.
Ramos, affectionately called FVR, sought the modernization of the military through the enactment of the 15-year AFP Modernization Act.
"President Ramos also recognized that problems of national security and stability cannot be resolved by military action alone. To this end, he mandated the active integration and coordination of development and peace-oriented initiatives through the revitalization of the National Security Council," he added.
Ramos was born on March 18, 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan and is a member of the United States Military Academy Class of 1950.
He was a member of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) and served in various military command positions through his long military career.
"As we honor his life and legacy, the 110,000-strong Philippine Army offers our snappiest salute to former President and Commander-in-Chief Ramos," Trinidad said.
Icon of good governance
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also paid tribute to the former president’s legacy of good governance.
“FVR’s legacy of good governance will serve as a beacon of inspiration as we altogether aim to deliver the highest quality of public service to the people we serve,” Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a statement.
Abalos added that the DILG and its attached agencies offer prayers and sincerest condolences to the bereaved family, loved ones, and supporters of Ramos, whom he described as a leader “who have left an imprint of good public service within the walls and history of our nation.”
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), meanwhile, gave its “snappiest salute” to the late former president and commander-in-chief.
In a statement, NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad honored Ramos’ contributions which he said are now “written in history books and stamped in our country’s national heritage.”
“We may not see you in person anymore but we can always feel you in our hearts and your memories be cherished by your legacies as a stalwart bulwark of Philippine democracy,” he added.
Natividad said they will uphold the former chief executive’s ideals and aspirations that help the country achieve peace and freedom.
“Your undying sacrifices be our inspirations in serving the people we have once and for all dreamed of in common as members of uniformed service. Thank you for your selfless service for the Filipino people,” he added. (with Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)