Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fidel V. Ramos

Second President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines
Term: June 30, 1992 - June 30, 1998

Fidel Valdes Ramos was raised by his father Narciso Ramos in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The Philippine government awarded the young Fidel Ramos a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy after he passed competitive examinations. Seeing the need to help raise his country from the ruins of war, he pursued further studies in engineering following his graduation from West Point in 1950. He obtained a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois in 1951 while he was still a government scholar.

In 1966, Ramos was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant infantry platoon leader in the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Chief of Staff of the Philippine Civil Action. He then worked his way up to become the commander of the Philippine Constabulary, a paramilitary law enforcement agency that was created by the administration of Ferdinand Marcos.

Ramos is considered the “Father of Philippine Army Special Forces.” Some of the positions that he held in the government were Deputy Chief of Staff for Home Defense of the Armed Forces, and Chief of the Philippine Constabulary. He became known to the public in 1986, when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He then became the Secretary of National Defense in 1988 under the Aquino administration.

On June 30, 1992, Ramos ascended to the highest office of the land. He led the Partido Lakas Tao, a political party that promised to move power to the people as well as greater control over their livelihood, culture, politics and all aspects of their lives. The former general tried to improve his administration by reducing the number of cabinet-ranked positions, though his good intentions were criticized because the appointed officials retired military officers.
Ramos took positive moves towards his old foes. He granted amnesty to Communist and Muslim rebels, and recognized the Communist Party. Foreign investment, particularly tourism, was also one of his targets for improvement.

He is married to Amelita “Ming” Ramos, with whom he has five daughters. The four-star general was the 12th president of the Philippines.