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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Filipino Presidents

Fidel V. Ramos
12th President of the Philippines
(born 1928; president 1992 - 1998)
Most Travelled President



       Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.
      Fidel Ramos was born on March 18, 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan. His father, Narciso Ramos (1900–1986), was a lawyer, journalist and 5-term legislator of the House of Representatives, who eventually rose to the position of Secretary of Foreign Affairs. As such, Narciso Ramos was the Philippine signatory to the ASEAN declaration forged in Bangkok in 1967 and was one of the founding fathers of the Liberal Party. His mother, Angela Valdez-Ramos (1905–1977), was an educator, woman suffragette and daughter of the respected Valdez clan of Batac, Ilocos Norte making him a second degree cousin to Ferdinand Marcos.
Ramos was educated at the United States Military Academy and University of Illinois, where he earned a master's degree in civil engineering. He also holds a master's degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from the Ateneo de Manila University.
       Ramos went to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and he graduated in 1950. Ramos, along with the Philippines' 20th Battalion Combat Team and his fellow West Point graduates of the 1950s, fought in the Korean War. Ramos was one of the heroes of the Battle of Hill Eerie, where he led his platoon to sabotage the enemy in Hill Eerie. He was also present in the Vietnam War as a non-combat civil military engineer and commanding officer of the Philippine Civic Action Group (PHILCAGV). It is during this assignment where he forged his life-long friendship with his junior officer Maj. Jose T. Almonte, who went on to become his National Security Advisor all through out during his administration from 1992-1998.
       Ramos has received several military awards including the Philippine Legion of Honor, the Distinguished Conduct Star, Philippine Military Merit Medal, the United States Legion of Merit, the French Legion of Honor and the U.S. Military Academy Distinguished Graduate Award.
       After Aquino assumed the Presidency, she appointed Ramos Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and later Secretary of National Defense. During this time, Ramos personally handled the military operations that crushed nine coup attempts against the Aquino government. During Ramos' presidency, the National Unification Commission was created, and its chairman Haydee Yorac, together with Ramos, recommended to President Aquino that she grant amnesty to the rebel military officers of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) led by Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan.
       In December 1991, Ramos declared his candidacy for President. He however, lost the nomination of the dominant party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) to House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. Days later, he bolted LDP and founded the Partido Lakas Tao (People Power Party), inviting Cebu Governor Emilio Mario Osmeña as his Vice President. The party formed a coalition with the National Union of Christian Democrats (NUCD) of Senator Raul Manglapus and the United Muslim Democrats of the Philippines (UMDP) of Ambassador Sanchez Ali. Ramos and Osmeña, together with Congressman (later House Speaker) Jose de Venecia, campaigned for economic reforms and improved national security and unity.
      He won the seven-way race on May 11, 1992, narrowly defeating populist Agrarian Reform Secretary Miriam Defensor Santiago. Despite winning, he garnered only 23.58% of the vote, the lowest plurality in the country's history. The election results were marred by allegations of fraud, though cheating on a large scale has not been proven. However, his running mate, Governor Osmeña, lost to Senator Joseph Estrada as Vice President.
      Prior to his election as president, Ramos served in the Cabinet of President Corazon Aquino first as chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and, later on, as Secretary of National Defense from 1986 to 1991.
      During the historic 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, Ramos, along with then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, was hailed as a hero by many Filipinos for his decision to breakaway from the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and pledge allegiance and loyalty to the newly-established revolutionary government of President Aquino, following the downfall of Marcos from power in February 1986. Previously, he was the AFP vice chief-of-staff under President Marcos.
     Under Ramos' leadership, the Philippines experienced a period of political stability and rapid economic growth and expansion, as a result of his policies and programs designed to foster national reconciliation and unity. Ramos was able to secure major peace agreements with Muslim separatists, communist insurgents and military rebels, which renewed investor confidence in the Philippine economy. Ramos also aggressively pushed for the deregulation of the nation's major industries and the privatization of bad government assets. As a result of his hands-on approach to the economy, the Philippines was dubbed by various international magazines and observers as Asia's Next Economic Tiger.
      However, the momentum in the economic gains made under the Ramos Administration was briefly interrupted during the onset of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Nevertheless, during the last year of Ramos' term, the economy managed to make a rebound since it was not severely hit by the crisis as compared to other Asian economies.
      To date, Ramos is the first and only non-Catholic President of the Philippines. He belongs to the Protestant United Methodist Church.


Source : Wikipedia

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