Press Release
August 1, 2022


I would like to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of former President Fidel V. Ramos, one of the most dogged navigators of our country's contested democracy.

He will forever be remembered as a major game-changer during the People Power Revolution. Even then, his unexpected courage was a force of nature, encouraging many other longer-standing freedom fighters.

As president, Pres. Ramos laid down a strong foundation for political recovery and economic stability, which reinvigorated a country emerging from the very dark shadow of the Martial Law dictatorship.

He made such solid progress that the world billed the Philippines as "Asia's next tiger economy" during his time.

I also echo his belief that land reform and strengthening agriculture are pillars of peace in the rural areas. Pres. Ramos saw tillers owning their own land as being fundamental to deepening Philippine democracy.

Peace and stability, which took top priority in his 5-point program, also set the stage for talks and negotiations with separatist groups, which broke down barriers and led to a landmark peace agreement.

His clear articulation of Philippines 2000 engaged many stakeholders, giving our country a chance to stand tall beside other Asian economies.

However, we did not agree with all of his policy decisions.

The liberalization and deregulation of too many industries, while a boon for foreign investors then, started to widen inequality here at home. Ironically, the social immobility that many Filipinos are experiencing now is also a side effect of his administration's insistence on reforming the nation's socio-economic structures in a certain way.

Hence, even until today, the promises of the "EDSA project" remain largely unfulfilled, ironically even enabling the political comeback of the heir of the dictatorship. It is now up to our generation to realize a more equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities, as Filipinos face inflation, poverty, hunger, and unemployment today.

Nevertheless, Pres. Ramos gave us a clear vision of the future and captivated us with his ability to bring together many of us in one room-- civil society, military, public and private sector, foreign investors, and the like-- reminding us that when we work together on our common advocacies and aspirations, it is possible to shape a brighter future for the Philippines.

I would like to convey my deepest condolences to Ma'am Ming, their children, the Ramos family, and all their friends. The nation mourns with you.

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