He helped topple the dictator in 1986.
He will also certainly not support the dictator’s son’s attempt to ascend to power to reclaim the family’s lost glory and vindicate his father’s honor after he was chased out from power in 1986.
Fidel V. Ramos is a very principled man.
He wants the country to remember him as the man who helped restore democratic institutions in the Philippines and protected it from numerous attempts by misguided military officers to unseat Corazon Aquino.
A cabal of colonels wanted to install a power-hungry politician who regretted handing over power to the widow of a martyred senator, a symbol of the opposition to the strongman who plundered the country’s coffers.
As the successor of Cory Aquino in 1992, he strengthened the democratic institutions and introduced reforms to stimulate the economy through his 3Ds — decentralization, devolution and deregulation.
He dismantled the monopolies in the country’s airline and telecommunications industries, levelling the playing field to move the country up with the region’s tiger economies.
The US-trained army general willingly hung up his uniform after 38 years of dedicated service, rolled up his sleeves to confront in 1992 the debilitating 12-hour brownouts hurting the economy, and laid down plans for massive infrastructure.
He did not think twice to discard the military mind-set and offered an olive branch to rebel forces, offering amnesty to Maoist-led guerrillas, Muslim separatist rebels and right-wing mutineers.
There was political stability and incremental economic growth from 1992 to 1998 when he was chief executive. It was the best years of the post-Marcos years.
Ramos was not perfect. There were corruption issues, like the Mount Pinatubo rehabilitation funds, PEA-Amari land deal and the Clark centennial city.
But these were controversies blamed on his political allies in the political party, Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats (CMD), which pulled him down in the surveys before he stepped down from power.
It is the same political party with the familiar political families that is bringing shame today by supporting Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in next year’s national elections.
It is unfair for Ramos, considered to be one of the EDSA 1986 heroes, to be dragged into today’s partisan politics just because the party he founded in 1991 is backing Marcos Junior.
At 93 years old, Ramos has retired quietly from politics. He has already done more than enough for his country.
In 1950, he chose to serve his country’s military after graduating from the US Military Academy in West Point.
He fought in the Korean War, leading a platoon in holding back large numbers of attacking Communist Chinese and Korean forces, and served later as commander of the Philippine Civil Action Group (Philcag) in the Vietnam war in the late 1960s.
He organized two elite units in the armed forces — the Army’s Special Forces Regiment and the defunct Constabulary’s Special Action Force.
But he was also chief implementer of martial law, as the commanding general of the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police.
In February 1986, he broke off from the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos to spark a nearly bloodless civilian-backed military mutiny, which became a popular uprising that ended a 20-year iron-fisted rule.
Filipinos do not have short memories but they needed to be reminded of what they stood for in 1986. Filipinos gathered on EDSA for three days to demand Marcos hand over power after he cheated in an election.
For two decades, the Marcoses stole from the people. They lied and deceived the people so they could live like royalty while
millions suffered in poverty.
In 1986, the country was bankrupt as Marcos siphoned the money and stashed it in fat Swiss bank accounts and splurged in expensive jewelry, art pieces, shares of stocks and properties here and abroad.
To this day, his children continue to enjoy the estimated $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth, using a fraction of stolen money to buy their way to Malacañang in 2022.
For the Marcoses, it will be a sweet revenge against the people who fought hard to remove them from power. They used the money to distort history, flooding social media with propaganda and fake accounts of the so-called “golden age” of Philippine history.
Ramos would never have a hand in all of these shenanigans. He would never help bring back to power a despised and discredited family.
Some political families, who did enjoy a comfortable life during the Marcos dictatorship, have come together in a shameful attempt to re-install the strongman’s son.
One of them is Joseph Estrada, a B-movie actor who rose to power in 1998 but, like the corrupt Marcos, was removed in a peaceful civilian uprising in 2001. He served as mayor of San Juan all throughout the time Marcos was in power.
He was replaced by a political butterfly, Gloria Macaoagal Arroyo, who hijacked Ramos’ party and openly gave support to Marcos Junior.
Arroyo joined Lakas-CMD in the 1998 elections, running as vice president to Jose de Venecia Jr and abandoning a party she formed with Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto.
The convicted plunderer and an opportunistic politician tainted by corruption have joined forces with the daughter of an incompetent leader to rally behind Marcos Junior.
It’s an alliance of pure selfish interests — families who want to claw back to power and another to stay relevant after June 2022.
Ramos, the hero of EDSA, will not be a part of this despicable alliance. He will be true to his democratic principles and will preserve his legacy as the man who fought for and defended democracy. He will not dare risk his image and legacy.