Fidel Ramos

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Ramos and the second or maternal family name is Valdez.
His Excellency
Fidel Ramos
12th President of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 1992  June 30, 1998
Vice President Joseph Estrada
Preceded by Corazón Aquino
Succeeded by Joseph Estrada
Secretary of National Defense
In office
January 22, 1988  July 18, 1991
President Corazón Aquino
Preceded by Rafael Ileto
Succeeded by Renato de Villa
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
In office
Preceded by Fabian Ver
Succeeded by Renato de Villa
Chief of the Philippine Constabulary
In office
Preceded by Fabian Ver
Succeeded by Renato de Villa
Personal details
Born Fidel Ramos y Valdez
(1928-03-18) March 18, 1928
Lingayen, Pangasinan, Philippine Islands
Political party Lakas-Kampi-CMD (2009–present)
Other political
Lakas-CMD (1991–2009)
LDP (1991)
Spouse(s) Amelita Martinez
Children 5
Alma mater University of the Philippines High School
Centro Escolar University
National University
Philippine Military Academy
United States Military Academy
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
National Defense College of the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University
Mapua Institute of Technology
Occupation Soldier
Civil engineer
Website Official website
Office of the PresidentArchived
Military service
Nickname(s) Eddie, FVR
Allegiance  Philippines
Years of service 1950 to 1988
Rank General

Hukbalahap Campaign
Korean War, 1951–1952 (Battle of Hill Eerie, May 1952)

Vietnam War, 1965 to 1968
Battle of Marawi, 1972

Fidel Valdez Ramos AFP PLH GCMG (born Fidel Ramos y Valdez; March 18, 1928), popularly known as FVR and Eddie, 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.

Prior to his election as President, Ramos served in the Cabinet of President Corazón 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.[2] He was the father of the Philippine Army's Special Forces and the Philippine National Police Special Action Force.

During the historic 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, Ramos was hailed as a hero by many Filipinos for his decision to breakaway from the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos and pledge allegiance and loyalty to the newly established government of President Aquino.

Under Ramos, 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 internationally as Asia's Next Economic Tiger.

However, the momentum in the economic gains made under his administration was briefly interrupted during the onset of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Nevertheless, during the last year of the term, the economy managed to make a rebound since it was not severely hit by the crisis as compared to other Asian economies. He also oversaw the Philippine Centennial Independence celebrations in 1998.

Ramos has received numerous awards, and is the only Filipino to have received an honorary British order, having been made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1995. A member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Ramos is notably the first and to date only Protestant president of the majority Roman Catholic country.

Early life and education

Rented family house of Narciso Ramos and Angela Valdez in Lingayen, where Fidel and Leticia Ramos-Shahani were born, 1995.

Fidel Ramos was born on March 18, 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan.[3] His father, Narciso Ramos (1900–1986), was a lawyer, journalist and five-term legislator of the House of Representatives, who eventually rose to the position of Secretary of Foreign Affairs.[4] As such, Narciso Ramos was the Philippine signatory to the ASEAN declaration forged in Bangkok in 1967, and was a founding member of the Liberal Party. According to Fidel Ramos's biography in his presidential inauguration in 1992,[5] Narciso Ramos also served as one of the leaders of the anti-Japanese guerrilla group the Maharlika founded by Ferdinand Marcos. His mother, Angela Valdez (1905–1978), was an educator, woman suffragette, and member of the respected Valdez clan of Batac, Ilocos Norte, making her a second degree cousin to former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos.[4]

He received elementary education in Lingayen Public Schools. Ramos began secondary education at the University of the Philippines High School in the City of Manila, and continued in Mapúa Institute of Technology. He graduated high school from Centro Escolar University in 1945. He later on enrolled with a degree in Civil Engineering at National University in Manila. He was Top 8 in the Civil Engineering Board Exam in 1953.[3][4] Afterwards he went to the United States and he graduated from the United States Military Academy, with Bachelor of Science in Military Engineering and the University of Illinois, with 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 degree in Business Administration from Ateneo de Manila University. In addition, he received a total of 29 honorary doctorate degrees.[3][4][6]


He married Amelita Martinez on October 21, 1954, and together they have five daughters: Angelita Ramos-Jones, Josephine Ramos-Samartino, Carolina Ramos-Sembrano, Cristina Ramos-Jalasco and Gloria Ramos.[3][4]

Military career

Early career

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 the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK), fought in the Korean War. He was an Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon Leader.[4] Ramos was one of the heroes of the Battle of Hill Eerie,[7] where he led his platoon to sabotage the enemy in Hill Eerie.[8] He was also present in the Vietnam War as a non-combat civil military engineer and Chief of Staff of the Philippine Civil Action Group (PHILCAG).[4] It is during this assignment where he forged his lifelong friendship with his junior officer Maj. José T. Almonte, who went on to become his National Security Advisor throughout during his administration from 1992 to 1998.

Ramos has received several military awards including the Philippine Legion of Honor (1988, 1991), the Distinguished Conduct Star (1991), the Distinguished Service Star (1966, 1967, 1981), Philippine Military Merit Medal (1952), the United States Legion of Merit, the French Legion of Honor, the U.S. Military Academy Distinguished Graduate Award and Legion of Merit (1990).[4]

During his stint at the Philippine Army, Ramos founded the Philippine Army Special Forces. And then, he was named to the commander of the Army's 3rd Division based in Cebu City, Cebu.

Martial Law and the EDSA Revolution

Ramos headed the Philippine Constabulary, then a major service branch of the Armed Forces, that acted as the country's national police until 1972, when Ferdinand Marcos imposed Martial Law.[4] Ramos is held responsible by for human rights abuses committed under Martial Law as head of the Philippine Constabulary chief; the unit responsible in the arrest tortures of civilians.

In 1975, all civic and municipal police forces in the country were integrated by decree, and it became known as the Integrated National Police (INP), which was under the control and supervision of the Constabulary. As head of the PC, Ramos was ex officio the INP's first concurrent Director-General. Martial Law was formally lifted nine years later on January 17, 1981, but Marcos retained absolute powers.

Due to his accomplishments, Ramos became one of the candidates to become the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1981, to replace retiring General Romeo Espino. longest Martial law, chief of staff. However, Marcos instead opted and appointed his trusted military officer, General Fabian Ver, a graduate of the University of the Philippines, into the top military post. Thus, Ramos, Marcos' cousin was named AFP Vice-Chief of staff in 1982, became the military's second most powerful official after Ver and receiving the rank of three-star general. On May 12, 1983 by the former Philippine Constabulary as the Philippine Constabulary Special Action Force[9] as a requirement of General Order 323 of Philippine Constabulary Headquarters, Fidel Ramos and Renato de Villa were the founders of the unit. De Villa asked Col. Rosendo Ferrer and Gen. Sonny Razon to organize a Special Action Force.[10] After which, a training program called the SAF Ranger Course, was used to train the 1st generation of SAF operators, which had a number of 149 operatives.[11] Out of them, 26 were known commissioned officers with the others being enlisted personnel from a wide range of PC units such as the defunct PC Brigade, the Long Range Patrol Battalion (LRP), the K-9 Support Company, PC Special Organized Group, the Light Reaction Unit (LRU) of PC METROCOM, the Constabulary Off-shore Action Command (COSAC) and other PC Units.[11] Later on, they changed the name of the course to the SAF Commando Course.[11]

On 8 August 1983, during a speech in Camp Crame to commemorate Philippine Constabulary Day, Marcos announced his removal of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile from the chain of command, and the creation of a new arrangement with himself as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces until AFP Chief of Staff Ver. Marcos also removed the operational control of the Integrated National Police from the Philippine Constabulary under Ramos and transferred it under direct control of Ver; the Constabulary then had only administrative supervision over the INP.

When Ver was implicated in the August 21, 1983 assassination of former opposition Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., Ramos became Acting AFP Chief of Staff until Ver's reinstatement in 1985 after he was acquitted of charges related to the killing. Ramos at this time also formed the Special Action Force of the Philippine Constabulary to deal with terrorist-related crimes.

On 22 February 1986, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile protested alleged fraud committed by Marcos in the 1986 snap elections, withdrawing support and triggering the non-violent People Power Revolution. General Ramos later also defected and followed Enrile into Camp Crame, and the duo shifted their fealty to Corazón Aquino, the widow of Senator Aquino and Marcos' main election rival. On 25 February, the "EDSA Revolution" reached its peak when Marcos, along with his family and some supporters, fled into exile in Hawaii with the assistance of the United States government, ending his 20-year rule, leaving Aquino to accede as the country's first female President.

Of his martial law record, Primitivo Mijares has this for Ramos: "In the military, I could only point out to Major General Fidel V. Ramos, Constabulary chief, as the only relatively clean ranking officer of the armed forces."[12]

Combat record

When belittled by the press regarding his combat record, Ramos responded with trademark sarcasm (July 31, 1987):

I fought the communists as part of the battalion combat teams, I went up the ladder. Battalion staff officer. Company commander. Task Force commander. Special Forces group commander. Brigade commander. All in different periods in our country. Huk campaign. Korean War campaign. The Vietnam War, and I was the head of the advance party of the PHILCAG (Philippine Civil Action Group to Vietnam) that went to a tiny province at the Cambodian border – the so-called Alligator Jaw – War Zone Z where even Max Soliven said ‘The Viet-Cong will eat us up.’ Of course, we were physically there as non-combat troops. But you try to be a non-combat troop in a combat area – that is the toughest kind of assignment.
Korea – as a platoon leader. Recon leader. What is the job of a recon leader? To recon the front line – no man’s land. And what did we do? I had to assault a fortified position of the Chinese communists and wiped them out. And what is this Special Forces group that we commanded in the Army – '62–'65? That was the only remaining combat unit in the Philippine Army. The rest were training in a division set-up. We were in Luzon. We were in Sulu. And then, during the previous regime, Marawi incident. Who was sent there? Ramos. We defended the camp, being besieged by 400 rebels.
So next time, look at the man’s record, don't just write and write. You said, no combat experience, no combat experience. Look around you who comes from the platoon, who rose to battalion staff, company commander, group commander, which is like a battalion, brigade commander, here and abroad. Abroad, I never had an abroad assignment that was not combat. NO SOFT JOBS FOR RAMOS. Thirty-seven years in the Armed Forces. REMEMBER THAT. You’re only writing about the fringe, but do not allow yourself to destroy the armed forces by those guys. You write about the majority of the Armed Forces who are on the job.
That's why we're here enjoying our freedom, ladies and gentlemen. You are here. If the majority of the Armed Forces did not do their job, I doubt very much if you’d all be here.[13]

Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and Secretary of National Defense

After Aquino assumed the Presidency, she appointed Ramos as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (1986-1988), and later Secretary of National Defense as well as Chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (1988-1991).[4] 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 to grant amnesty to the rebel military officers of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) led by Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan.

1992 Presidential Election

In December 1991, Ramos declared his candidacy for President. However, he lost the nomination of the then-dominant party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) to House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. Days later, he bolted from the party LDP and cried foul and founded his own party, the Partido Lakas Tao (People Power Party), inviting Cebu Governor Emilio Mario Osmeña to be his running mate as his Vice Presidential candidate. 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 popular Agrarian Reform Secretary Miriam Defensor Santiago. His running mate, Governor Osmeña, lost to Senator Joseph Estrada as Vice President. 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 as Santiago was leading the race for the first five days of counting but became second after a nationwide energy block-out, puting Ramos in first place. International media were already calling Santiago as the president-elect but withdrew because of the sudden change in positions. Santiago filed an electoral protest, but it was eventually junked by the Supreme Court. The quote, "Miriam won in the elections, but lost in the counting." became popular nationwide.[14] These allegations were resurrected when Wikileaks, in September 2011, released US Embassy reports that Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi contributed Php5 million to finance Ramos’s campaign. Philippine election laws prohibit accepting contribution from foreigners.[15]


Presidential styles of
Fidel V. Ramos
Reference style His Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Mr. President

At the time of his assumption into power, he was the first Protestant President of the country and the only Filipino officer in history to have held every rank in the Philippine military from Second Lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief. At 64 years old, he's also the second oldest person following Sergio Osmeña to become President of the Philippines. The first few years of his administration (1992–1995) were characterized by economic boom, technological development, political stability and efficient delivery of basic needs to the people. During his time, he advocated party platforms as outline and agenda for governance. As in his case, he was the first Christian Democrat to be elected in the country, being the founder of Lakas-CMD (Christian-Muslim Democrats Party). He was one of the most influential leaders and the unofficial spokesman of liberal democracy in Asia.[16]

Cabinet (1992–1998) [2]

President Fidel Valdez Ramos June 30, 1992 June 30, 1998
Vice-President Joseph Estrada June 30, 1992 June 30, 1998
Executive SecretaryPeter Garuccho July 1, 1992 September 13, 1992
Edelmiro Amante September 14, 1992 June 30, 1993
Teofisto Guingona, Jr. July 6, 1993 May 19, 1995
Ruben Torres May 20, 1995 January 8, 1998
Alejander Aguirre January 9, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Agrarian Reform Ernesto Garilao July 1, 1992 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Agriculture Roberto Sebastian July 1, 1992 January 31, 1996
Salvador Escudero III February 1, 1996 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Budget and Management Salvador Enriquez, Jr. June 30, 1992 February 1, 1998
Emilia Boncodin February 1, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports Armand Fabella July 1, 1992 July 6, 1994
Ricardo Gloria July 7, 1994 December 1997
Erlinda Piafanco February 2, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Energy Rufino Bomasang December 1992 January 11, 1993
Delfin Lazaro January 12, 1993 September 19, 1994
Francisco Viray September 20, 1994 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Angel Alcala September 8, 1992 June 30, 1995
Victor Ramos July 1, 1995 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Finance Ramon del Rosario, Jr. July 1, 1992 June 1, 1993
Ernest Leung June 2, 1993 January 31, 1994
Roberto de Ocampo February 1, 1994 March 30, 1998
Salvador Enriquez April 1, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Roberto Romulo July 1, 1992 April 1995
Domingo Siazon, Jr. May 1995 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Health Juan Flavier July 1, 1992 January 30, 1995
Jaime Galvez Tan January 30, 1995 July 5, 1995
Hilarion Ramiro, Jr. July 10, 1995 March 22, 1996
Carmencita Reodica April 8, 1996 June 29, 1998
Secretary of the Interior
and Local Government
Rafael Alunan III July 1, 1992 April 15, 1996
Robert Barbers April 16, 1996 February 3, 1998
Epimaco Velasco February 4, 1998 May 30, 1998
Nelson Collantes June 1, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Justice Franklin Drilon July 1, 1992 February 1995
Demetrio Demetria February 1995 May 1995
Teofisto Guingona, Jr. May 1995 February 1998
Silvestre Bello III February 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Labor and Employment Nieves Confesor June 30, 1992 June 30, 1995
Jose Brillantes July 1, 1995 January 16, 1996
Leonardo Quisumbing January 16, 1996 January 26, 1998
Cresenciano Trajano January 26, 1998 June 30, 1998
Secretary of National Defense Renato de Villa June 30, 1992 September 15, 1997
Fortunato Abat September 16, 1997 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Public Works and Highways Jose de Jesus June 30, 1992 March 1, 1993
Eduardo Mir March 1, 1993 June 1, 1993
Gregorio Vigilar June 1, 1993 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Science and Technology Ricardo Gloria July 1, 1992 July 6, 1994
William Padolina July 7, 1994 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon Alma de Leon July 1, 1992 June 1995
Lilian Laigo 1995 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Tourism Narzalina Lim June 30, 1992 September 10, 1992
Vicente Carlos September 11, 1992 July 3, 1995
Eduardo Pilapil July 4, 1995 March 29, 1996
Evelyn Pantig March 29, 1996 April 7, 1996
Guillermina Gabor April 8, 1996 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Trade and Industry Rizalino Navarro July 1, 1992 1996
Cesar Bautista 1996 June 30, 1998
Secretary of Transportation and Communications Jesus Garcia July 1, 1992 April 1, 1996
Amado Lagdameo, Jr. April 1, 1996 April 16, 1997
Arturo Enrile April 16, 1997 January 14, 1998
Josefina Lichauco January 15, 1998 June 30, 1998
Presidential Spokesperson Rodolfo Reyes July 1, 1992 May 10, 1993
Jesus Sison May 11, 1993 June 20, 1995
Hector Villanueva June 21, 1995 June 29, 1998
of the Commission on Higher Education
Ricardo Gloria May 18, 1994 June 30, 1995
Angel Alcala July 1, 1995 June 30, 1998
of the National Economic and Development Authority
Cielito Habito July 1, 1992 June 30, 1998
Solicitor GeneralRamon Desuasido June 30, 1992 July 5, 1992
Eduardo Montenegro July 6, 1992 August 10, 1992
Raul Goco August 11, 1992 September 22, 1996
Silvestre Bello III September 23, 1996 February 3, 1998
Romeo dela Cruz February 4, 1998 June 8, 1998
Silvestre Bello III June 9, 1998 June 30, 1998
of the Metropolitan Manila Authority
Ismael Mathay July 1, 1992 1994
Prospero Oreta 1994 March 1, 1995
of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
Prospero Oreta March 1, 1995 June 30, 1998
National Security AdviserJose Almonte July 1, 1992 June 30, 1998
Presidential Adviser on the Peace ProcessHaydee Yorac July 1, 1992 August 9, 1993
Oscar Santos August 20, 1993 March 22, 1994
Manuel Yan March 22, 1994 June 30, 1998

Power crisis

The Philippines then was experiencing widespread blackouts due to huge demand for electricity and antiquity of power plants, the abolishment of the Department of Energy and discontinuation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant during the Aquino administration. During his State of the Nation address on July 27, 1992, he requested that the Congress enact a law that would create an Energy Department that would plan and manage the Philippines' energy demands. Congress not only created an Energy Department but gave him special emergency powers to resolve the power crisis. Using the powers given to him, Ramos issued licenses to independent power producers (IPP) to construct power plants within 24 months. Ramos issued supply contracts that guaranteed the government would buy whatever power the IPPs produced under the contract in U.S. dollars to entice investments in power plants. This became a problem during the East Asian Financial Crisis when the demand for electricity contracted and the Philippine peso lost half of its value.

Ramos personally pushed for the speedy approval of some of the most expensive power deals, and justified signing more contracts despite warnings from within the government and the World Bank that an impending oversupply of electricity could push up prices, a situation that persists in the Philippines up to the present. Individuals linked to Ramos lobbied for the approval of some of the contracts for independent power producers (IPPs), which came with numerous other deals, including lucrative legal, technical, and financial consultancies that were given to individuals and companies close to the former president. Among the deals tied to IPP projects were insurance contracts in which companies made millions of dollars in commissions alone. All the IPP contracts came with attractive incentives and guarantees. Every contract was designed to give IPP creditors some degree of comfort in financing ventures that would usually involve huge capital and risks. Most IPPs were funded by foreign loans secured with a form of government guarantee or performance undertaking, which meant that the Philippine government would pay for the loans if the IPPs defaulted. The Ramos government continued signing IPP contracts even after the power crisis had been considered solved by the end of 1993. The World Bank came up with a report in 1994 warning that power rates may rise if the government continued to enter into more IPP contracts that would mean excess power. The World Bank questioned the ambitious projections of the government on economic growth and power demand from 1994 to 1998. It also warned that the power generated by private utilities' IPPs could duplicate those of the National Power Corporation and create an overcapacity. The World Bank said that the factors create considerable uncertainty in power demand, like substantial overcapacity, particularly under take-or-pay conditions, would require considerable tariff increases that would be unpopular with the public. It was said that, presidents since Corazon Aquino catered mostly to the needs of big business for power and allowed the private sector to profit from this lucrative industry rather than craft an energy plan that would meet the needs of the Filipinos.[17]

The country was considered risky by investors due to previous coup attempts by military adventurists led by Gregorio Honasan, and experienced blackouts at an almost daily basis lasting 4–12 hours during the term of President Aquino. The low supply of power and perceived instability had previously held back investments and modernization in the country. Under Ramos, the Philippines was a pioneer in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme where private investors are invited to build certain government projects (i.e. tollways, powerplants, railways, etc.), make money by charging users, and transfer operation to the government after a set amount of time.

Economic reforms

Economy of the Philippines under
President Fidel Ramos
1992 63.82 million
Gross Domestic Product
1992 Increase Php 718,941 million ($ 28.2 billion)
1997 IncreasePhp 893,151 million ($ 30.3 billion)
Growth rate, 1992-1998 average 4.9%
Per capita income
1992 Increase Php 11,265
1997 Increase Php 12,147
Total exports
1992 Increase Php 250,610 million
1997 Increase Php 743,469 million
Exchange rates
1 US$ = Php 29.47
1 Php = US$ 0.034

During his administration, Ramos began implementing economic reforms intended to open up the once-closed national economy, encourage private enterprise, invite more foreign and domestic investment, and reduce corruption. Ramos was also known as the most-traveled Philippine President compared to his predecessors with numerous foreign trips abroad, generating about US$20 billion worth of foreign investments to the Philippines. To ensure a positive financial outlook on the Philippines, Ramos led the 4th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit in the Philippines on November 1996.

Under his administration, the Philippines enjoyed economic growth and stability. The Philippine Stock Exchange in the mid-1990s was one of the best in the world and his visions of 'Philippines 2000' that led the country into a newly industrialized country in the world and the "Tiger Cub Economy in Asia".[18]

Philippines 2000 Five-Point Program:

Death penalty

While campaigning for the presidency, Fidel Ramos declared his support for reinstating the death penalty. Capital punishment was abolished for all crimes in 1987, making the Philippines the first Asian country to do so. In 1996 Ramos signed a bill that returned capital punishment with the electric chair (method used from 1923 to 1976, making Philippines the only country to do so outside U.S.) "until the gas chamber could be installed".[19] However, no one was electrocuted nor gassed, because the previously used chair was destroyed earlier and the Philippines adopted the lethal injection. Some people were put to death by this means, until the death penalty was abolished again in 2006.

Peace with separatists

Ramos, a military general himself, made peace with the rebel panels. He was instrumental in the signing of the final peace agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Nur Misuari in 1996.

Although he battled Communist rebels as a young lieutenant in the 1950s, Ramos made a bold move when he signed into law Republic Act 7636, which repealed the Anti-Subversion Law. With its repeal, membership in the once-outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines became legal.[20]

Spratly Islands

President Fidel V. Ramos troops the honor guards at the Pentagon with Secretary of Defense William Cohen during a State visit in 1998.

In early 1995, the Philippines discovered a primitive Chinese military structure on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, one hundred and thirty nautical miles off the coast of Palawan. The Philippine government issued a formal protest over China's occupation of the reef and the Philippine Navy arrested sixty-two Chinese fishermen at Half Moon Shoal, eighty kilometers from Palawan. A week later, following confirmation from surveillance pictures that the structures were of military design, President Fidel Ramos had the military forces in the region strengthened. He ordered the Philippine Air Force to dispatch five F-5 fighters backed by four jet trainers and two helicopters, while the navy sent two additional ships. The People’s Republic of China had claimed that the structures were shelters for fishermen but these small incidents could have triggered a war in the South China Sea.

Migrant workers protection

A perceived weakness of his administration was the situation in handling migrant workers protection, a very major issue in the Philippines, as there are millions of Filipinos abroad throughout the world serving as workers in foreign countries, and their remittances to relatives at home are very important to the Filipino economy. On the eve of his 67th birthday on March 17, 1995, Ramos was on a foreign trip when Flor Contemplación was hanged in Singapore. His last minute effort to negotiate with Singapore President Ong Teng Cheong and Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong never succeeded and Ramos' return home was marred with protests after his arrival in Manila. The protests also caused the resignation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo and Labor Secretary Nieves Confesor from the Cabinet. He immediately recalled Philippine ambassador to Singapore Alicia Ramos and suspended diplomatic relations with Singapore. He created a special commission to look into the case which was in part an effort to try to rescue his sagging popularity. The commission was led by retired Supreme Court Justice Emilio Gancayco.

As recommended by the Gancayco Commission, Ramos facilitated the enactment of Republic Act 8042, better known as the "Magna Carta for Overseas Workers" or more formally as the Migrant Workers Act. The Migrant Workers Act was signed into law on June 7, 1995. Learning from the lessons of Contemplación case, Ramos immediately ordered UAE Ambassador Roy Señeres to facilitate negotiations after learning of the death penalty verdict of Sarah Balabagan in September 1995. Balabagan's sentence was reduced and she was released August 1996. After tensions cooled off, Ramos restored diplomatic relations with Singapore after meeting Goh Chok Tong on the sidelines during the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in New York City.

Asian Financial Crisis

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, which started in Thailand, was a major blow to the Ramos administration. The economy was hit by currency devaluation.[21] The same was true for the Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah. Growth fell to about −0.6% in 1998 from 5.2% in 1997, but recovered to 3.4% by 1999. It also resulted to the shutdown of some businesses, a decline in importation, a rising unemployment rate and an unstable financial sector.


Clark Centennial Expo Scandal

Supposedly, one of his notable contributions to the Philippines was the revival of nationalistic spirit by embarking on a massive promotion campaign for the centennial of Philippine Independence celebrated on June 12, 1998. However, charges of alleged massive corruption or misuse of funds blemished the resulting programs and various projects, one of which was the Centennial Expo and Amphitheater at the former Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, supposedly Ramos' pet project. The commemorative projects, particularly those undertaken at Clark, were hounded by illegal electioneering and corruption controversies even years after the Centennial celebrations.

A special report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) showed how the projects relating to the Expo site not only revealed the extravagance and inefficiency of the administration, but also served as convenient vehicle to effect election fund-raising for the LAKAS political party of Ramos at the expense of the tax-paying Filipinos and in violation of the Election Code. The Centennial Expo Pilipino project, intended to be the centerpiece for the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the country's independence from Spain, also earned extensive criticisms for being an expensive white elephant project that disadvantaged the government at the cost of P9 billion, or 1.7 percent of the country's 1998 national budget.[22] Six ranking Ramos cabinet members and officials, headed by Salvador Laurel (former Vice-President), chairman of the Centennial Commission, were cleared by the Ombudsman and Sandigan Bayan (People's Court). Ramos appeared before a Congressional Committee in October 1998 to help exonerate said officials of any wrongdoing.


In 2011, Wikileaks released a leaked 1994 diplomatic note from the US Embassy in Manila, recounting a private conversation between a diplomat and Joel de los Santos, a retired Filipino university professor who specialized in Islamic affairs. De los Santos alleged that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi had channeled $200,000 (5 million pesos) to Ramos' 1992 election campaign.[23] Ramos dismissed the claim as "hearsay by itself, and is further based on a string of successive hearsay conversations" and challenged anyone who believed the claim to produce evidence.[24]

Charter Change

During his final years in office, Ramos tried to amend the country's 1987 constitution; a process popularly known to many Filipinos as Charter Change or the so-called "Cha-Cha". Widespread protests led by Corazon Aquino and the Catholic Church stopped him from pushing through with the plan. Political analysts were divided as to whether Ramos really wanted to use Cha-Cha to extend his presidency or only to imbalance his opponents, as the next presidential election neared. He also intended to extend the term limits of the presidency to remain in power but her political rival Miriam Defensor-Santiago went to the Supreme Court and negated extending the term limit of the president, which preserved democracy at the time.[25]




In January 2001, Ramos was instrumental in the success of the so-called second EDSA Revolution that deposed the properly elected Philippine president Joseph Estrada and placed then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the presidential seat.

Ramos is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the Lakas CMD (Christian-Muslim Democrats) Party, formerly known as Lakas NUCD-UMDP or the Partido Lakas Tao-National Union of Christian Democrats-Union of Muslim Democrats of the Philippines.

Hello Garci Scandal

At the height of the election-rigging scandal in July 2005, Ramos publicly convinced President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo not to resign from office. Ramos, who was also hounded by charges of electoral fraud during the 1992 elections which were never proven in the Supreme Court, repeatedly stated that the scandal is nowhere as grave as that of People Power Revolutions of 1986 and 2001, citing factors such as the stagnant Philippine economy in the final years of the Marcos regime as well as the allegedly massive corruption of the Estrada administration.


Ramos at the Malacañan Palace State Dining Room in July 2016

Ramos also unveiled his proposals for constitutional change of the country. Citing the need to be more economically competitive in the midst of globalization and the need to improve governance for all Filipinos, Ramos suggested that government should start the process of Charter Change with a set deadline in 2007 (by which time the new charter and new government would take effect). Ramos supports the transformation of the country's political system from the Philippine presidential-bicameral-system into a unicameral parliament in transition to a federal form.

Ramos is currently representing the Philippines in the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group, tasked to draft the Charter of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). He was also a member of numerous international groups and fora, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia (also one of the co-founders of BFA) and Co-Chairman of the Global Meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum (EMF). Ramos was heavily recommended for the position of the United Nations envoy to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in June 2006.

He served as the Carlyle Group Asia Advisor Board Member until the board was disbanded in February 2004. At present, as a private citizen, Ramos is engaged in various private sector advocacies where he plays prominent roles. These include: Chairman, Ramos Peace and Development Foundation; Chairman, Boao Forum for Asia; Trustee, International Crisis Group (ICG); Member, Advisory Group, UN University for Peace; Honorary Director, General Douglas MacArthur Foundation; Founding Member, Policy Advisory Commission, World Intellectual Property Organization (PAC-WIPO); Honorary Member, World Commission on Water for the 21st century; Member, International Advisory Council, Asia House; Patron, Opportunity International (Philippines); Global Advisor, University of Winnipeg; Honorary Chairman, Yuchengco Center, De La Salle University; Member, Advisory Board, Metrobank; Honorary President, Human Development Network (HDN) Philippines; Lifetime Honorary President, Christian Democrats International (CDI); and Chairman Emeritus, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) Party.

Ramos is also a firm backer of the proposed Philippine Reproductive Health bill. During a meet-up with fellow RH bill supporters last May 2011, he urged President Benigno Aquino III to certify the RH bill as urgent, saying it is the "right thing" to do.[26] During his administration, the Department of Health under Juan Flavier launched an intense drive to promote family planning. Asiaweek reported in August 1994 that under Ramos, "family planning funding has quintupled." They also noted that President Ramos "has gone the farthest of any administration in opposing the Church's positions on contraception and abortion."[27] At present, Ramos is listed by the Forum for Family Planning and Development as one of its Eminent Persons.[28] The Forum is a non-governmental organization working to advance "national policies on population management, health, and family welfare."[29]

Ramos is a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law. It does so by making available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It is a not-for-profit organization composed of former heads of government, senior governmental and international organization officials who work closely with Heads of Government on governance-related issues of concern to them.

Ramos Peace and Development Foundation

He founded the Ramos Foundation for Peace and Development (RPDEV) with offices located in the Urban Bank Building (now ExportBank Plaza). The Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, Inc. (RPDEV) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, non-stock organization dedicated to the promotion of peace and development in the Philippines and in the larger Asia-Pacific region. RPDEV supports Philippine national interests and people empowerment. Operating as a network of individuals and institutions inside and outside the country, it will serve as a catalyst of constructive change, a medium for fostering unity, stability and progress, and a force for mutual understanding.

Philippine Envoy to China

On 23 July 2016, he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the Philippine Envoy to China to strengthen bilateral ties again after a much heated diplomatic war over the West Philippine Sea. On 1 November 2016, President Duterte accepted his resignation from the post.[30]


Ramos in 2004

Leftist groups have also criticized Ramos for his economic reforms such as privatization, deregulation and trade liberalization, claiming that the economic growth posted during his presidency was "artificial." They blamed him for the slowdown of the Philippine economy during the 1997 East Asian financial crisis.[31] The sale of 40% of Petron to Aramco is specifically criticized for resulting in the loss of the government's effective leverage on domestic oil prices.

In 1998, the Union for Socialist Ideas and Action told a left-wing Australian organization that Ramos hesitantly admitted that contrary to his government's earlier claim, the economic fundamentals of the country may actually be unsound. His admission came following the discovery of a secret memorandum issued by the National Economic Development Authority director-general urging the president to tell the Filipinos the truth about the state of the economy and that they ought to prepare for worse. According to former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo, Ramos "has done nothing to reverse or slow down the implementation" of the harmful IMF-imposed structural reforms.[32]

Ramos House marker

Honors and decorations

National honor

Military medal (Philippines)

Foreign honor

Military medal

International organizations




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  16. "Fidel Ramos".
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  20. "Moves to revive the Anti-Subversion Law"
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  22. Centennial Expo: Convenient Cover for Election Fundraising."
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  25. "Manila Journal; People Power 2: A Sleeping Giant Is Awakened." The New York Times (September 22, 1997). Retrieved on August 24, 2008
  26. FVR leads Purple Ribbon launch to push RH bill by Pots de Leon (TV5 News)
  27. "Philippines. Church vs. state: Fidel Ramos and family planning face 'Catholic Power'". Asiaweek: 21–2. August 1994. PMID 12345705.
  28. Who We Are – Eminent Persons Accessed: May 11, 2011
  29. About Us Accessed: May 11, 2011
  30. "Duterte confirms Ramos resignation as special envoy to China".
  31. "Philippines left confronts the economic crisis"
  32. Philippines left confronts the economic crisis.
  33. "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang, dan Pingat Persekutuan.".
  34. "Real Decreto 1819/1994, de 2 de septiembre, por el que se concede el Collar de la Orden del Mérito Civil a su excelencia señor don Fidel Valdez Ramos, Presidente de la República de Filipinas" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE). Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  35. "Real Decreto 453/1995, de 24 de marzo, por el que se concede el Collar de la Orden de Isabel la Católica a su excelencia señor Fidel Valdez Ramos, Presidente de la República de Filipinas" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE). Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  36. "Real Decreto 136/1998, de 30 de enero, por el que se concede el Collar de la Real y Muy Distinguida Orden de Carlos III a su Excelencia el Presidente de la República de Filipinas, don Fidel V. Ramos" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE). Retrieved September 24, 2016.


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