Sunday, August 2, 2009

FVR: ‘Aquino represented past, future of Filipinos’

Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Friday expressed grief over the death of his predecessor, former President Corazon Aquino, saying her demise was a loss not only for Filipinos but for the whole world. In a phone-patch interview with GMA News, Ramos, who took over the presidency when Mrs. Aquino bowed out of office in 1992, paid tribute to the role that the democracy icon had played in shaping the Philippines after coming out of martial rule under strongman Ferdinand Marcos. "Not only the entire Filipino nation grieves, but the whole world. Cory Aquino represented the past and the future of our people and led in the direction of a better future for our people," Ramos said. “Dito sa aming lahat sa aking pamilya ay nakikiramay sa pamilya at sa lahat ng mahal sa buhay ni Cory Aquino," said Ramos, who only learned about Mrs. Aquino’s death on radio.

This page requires a higher version browser Ramos, together with then defense chief Juan Ponce Enrile, led a military uprising in February 1986 that sparked the EDSA “People Power Revolution," toppled the Marcos regime and propelled Mrs. Aquino to power.

One of Mrs. Aquino's first appointees was then Lieutenant General Ramos, then Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vice chief of staff, whom she named chief of staff and promoted to four-star rank.

As military chief of staff and later secretary of defense, Ramos stood by Mrs. Aquino in the most difficult times of her presidency, helping quell coup attempts mounted mostly by military officers who helped topple Marcos.

During the 1992 presidential elections, Mrs. Aquino threw her support behind Ramos, discarding then House Speaker Ramon Mitra, who was the choice of the ruling Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) - the party formed by her political allies to back her presidency.

Because of Mrs. Aquino's support, Ramos managed to emerge as winner, albeit by a slim margin, in a field of seven candidates that included Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago; businessman Eduardo "Danding Cojuangco, Mrs. Aquino's cousin; then Vice President Salvador Laurel, former Senate President Jovito Salonga and former First Lady Mrs. Imelda Marcos. - GMANews.TV

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