‘Steady Eddie’: Solons pay tribute to former President Fidel V. Ramos

Lawmakers on Sunday, July 31, paid tribute to former President Fidel V. Ramos who died at the age of 94, with Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto of Batangas 6th District calling him “Steady Eddie” who steered the Philippines to economic development at a time of great crisis in the early 1990s.

Former president Fidel V. Ramos (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Ramos was president from 1992 to 1998, and was largely credited for helping restore democracy during the crucial days of the People Power Revolt in 1986 and for leading the Philippine economy to progress during the Asian financial crisis.

“He was the Steady Eddie who led by infectious and inspiring example, from the trenches of Korea, to the corridors of Malacanang. Whether in the battlefield or in the bureaucracy, he was daring in deeds and bold in thinking,” he said in a statement.

“He was driven by this Protestant-Ilocano-West Point work ethic which ingrained in him the habit of rising before dawn and toiling ‘til midnight,” Recto added, sharing that Ramos was his and wife, actress and politician Vilma Santos-Recto’s, godfather.

“Vi and I will miss him as do a nation and a people to whom he gave his all and his very best.”

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda remembered the former president’s role as a “mentor and model” for his public service life, sharing that Ramos consulted him back when he was still in the private sector. That convinced him that he could serve better as a public servant.

“Without FVR, we would not have been able to solidify the bedrock of investor confidence that has since allowed the country to grow its economy for decades. Ramos equaled economic reform. The Ramos brand was a brand of seriousness in governance. Business knew he meant business,” Salceda added in a statement.

The lawmaker said that Ramos considered him family because one of Salceda’s cousins married the former president’s first cousin, which made the former chief-of-staff at ease at seeking his advice.

Salceda also paid tribute to Ramos being a “witness to history” since he was born during the Commonwealth Era, attended the prestigious military school, West Point, fought in the Korean War, and played a significant role in the country’s tumultuous Martial Law years before being elected president.

“His death, in many ways, is the end of an era . . . And so, with his passing, his restless hands – hands that helped shape a nation’s modern history – finally take their rest. Those of us who learned from and worked with the man are left to ponder his legacy and carry on his work of nation-building. May we continue to work, and may he find his rest,” he said.

ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo also sent her and the group’s sympathies to the Ramos family, who has yet to issue a statement as of press time.

“His decisive and remarkable leadership has lead the country in restoring its economic growth and stability and paved the way to technological developments. Truly, his invaluable service and contributions to the country will always be remembered and his passing will be mourned by the Filipino people and the nation,” her statement read.