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former Philippine leader dies at 94 –


Fidel V. Ramos was president of the Philippines in the 1990s and a major figure in the country’s 1986 People Power Revolution.

Political life

Ramos served in the Philippine Army who studied in the U.S. at West Point and fought in the Korean War and Vietnam War. Later, as head of the Philippine Constabulary, he became a key part of the repressive regime of President Ferdinand Marcos (1917–1989). Ramos’ forces enforced the martial law that Marcos imposed on the country for more than a decade. But after serving as one of Marcos’ closest advisors, Ramos broke with the president and became a leader of the People Power Revolution that ousted him from power and brought democracy to the country under the leadership of President Corazon Aquino (1933–2009).  Under Aquino, Ramos served first as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and then as Secretary of National Defense.

After Aquino served for six years, Ramos was elected president in 1992, serving his own six-year term. His time in office became known for his work to stabilize and restore the Philippine economy, bringing new opportunities to the country for private enterprise and foreign investment. Barred by the country from seeking reelection in 1998, Ramos pushed for a constitutional amendment allowing him to run again, but these efforts didn’t succeed, and he stepped down from the presidency after his single term. Admired by some for his successful economic policies and peaceful time in office, Ramos was not universally loved, in part because of his initial longtime support of Marcos.

Notable quote

“The Philippines has proven to be a good model in the developing world to demonstrate that democracy and development are compatible. Authoritarianism, while it promotes rapid growth initially, is not compatible with a free market system, which must be transparent and predictable.” —from a 1998 speech

Tributes to Fidel V. Ramos

Full obituary: The New York Times

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