MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. honored former president Fidel V. Ramos' service to the country both as a soldier and a public servant.
The Chief Executive made this remark during his visit to Ramos' wake at the Heritage Park in Taguig City on Thursday morning.
“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,” he said in an interview with reporters.
Marcos also described the wake as a “family event”, since Ramos is also his distant uncle.
Ramos is the second cousin of Marcos’ father, the late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Marcos Sr.'s paternal grandfather, Fabian Marcos, and Ramos' maternal grandmother, Crispina Marcos-Valdez, are siblings.
Marcos said he offered condolences to Ramos’ wife Amelita and spoke about how Ramos brought “calm” and “stablility” after the 1986 People Power Revolution.
“You also must remember that we are related to FVR (Fidel V. Ramos) so it is also a family event, the loss of FVR. 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,” he said.
The former first lady, meanwhile, thanked the guests for attending her husband’s wake and recognized how he worked hard during his years in active government service.
“Thank you very much for coming. I realized we have so many friends. He worked hard, we also tried to work hard, and now he deserves the rest that he needs,” she said.
The President arrived past 10:30 a.m. and was accompanied by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez and Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr.
Ahead of his visit, Marcos sent a funeral wreath on Wednesday night.
Ramos died on July 31 at the age of 94. No further details on the passing of the former president were given by the family.
Ramos’ inurnment is scheduled on Aug. 9, 10 a.m. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Popularly known as “FVR,” Ramos served as the 12th president of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998.
He previously served as chief of the then-Philippine Constabulary, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Secretary of National Defense.
Marcos, in Proclamation No. 33, has declared July 31 to Aug. 9, 2022, as national days of mourning for Ramos.
Meanwhile, Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the 21-gun salute which will be provided during Ramos' inurnment at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani on Aug. 9 is the highest honor a nation can provide.
"(The) 21-gun salute came from a long history of military tradition recognized by most nations. It is the highest honor a nation rendered," he added.
The 21-gun salute is rendered to the national flag, sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, the President and former President, Trinidad said.
"It is also fired on the day of the funeral of the President and ex-President," he added.
Other military and civilian leaders are also given or entitled to gun salutes.
"However, the number of guns and fires differ according to rank protocol," Trinidad said. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)