Out of all the sweet tributes that were given by House of Representatives members to the late former President Fidel V. Ramos, perhaps none was more personal and poignant than the one given by senior deputy speaker and Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Senior deputy speaker and Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (left) and the late former President Fidel V. Ramos (Lakas-CMD, Reuters)

After all, nobody knew Ramos quite like Arroyo; and nobody seemed to have liked Arroyo more than Ramos–her vocal backer during more than one occasion in the past couple of decades.

“My prayers go to Mrs. Ming Ramos and the Ramos children as I join the Filipino nation in mourning one of the greatest Filipinos of the 20th Century,” the lady lawmaker and former president said late Monday night, Aug. 1, in her message about the 94-year-old Ramos’s passing.

She obviously took her time to craft her remarks, which had been sent to reporters a day later than other tribute-givers.

“Personally, I owe much to FVR,” admitted Arroyo while using everybody’s favorite nickname of Ramos.

“For one, he founded the LAKAS party which merged with my KAMPI. His was the strongest among the voices that rooted for me when the party’s presidential candidate was being discussed in 2004. And I will forever remember how he threw his full support for me during the failed coups in the later part of my presidency,” said the one-time House Speaker.

Arroyo, 75, extolled FVR for being “a giant among our leaders”. This spoke volumes, being an astute politician herself.

“War hero, model soldier, top-caliber diplomat, pillar of later-day Philippine democracy and a champion of our early moves towards globalization, FVR restored our economic competitiveness, having laid out the macro-economic directions for economic progress that the leaders succeeding him improved on,” she said.

Arroyo further said that Ramos “stabilized democracy” in the Philippines by saving the late former President Cory Aquino from coups. Ramos succeeded Aquino in Malacañang in 1992.

“He is also considered the father of the ubiquitous use of cellphones by deregulating and liberalizing the telecoms industry, which are the best policies to ensure the rapid and cost-effective delivery of communications services,” Arroyo said, highlighting a rarely appreciated facet of Ramos’s leadership.

“As we grieve the loss of this great man, we must celebrate his life and thank him not only for what he has achieved for the Philippines but most importantly for the example of statesmanship and love of country he held up for Filipinos to emulate,” Arroyo added.

“I pray that the sorrow felt by his bereaved family can be assuaged by knowing that he is lovingly remembered by the Filipino people,” she concluded.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/08/02/i-owe-much-to-fvr-arroyo-gives-poignant-tribute-to-ramos/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=i-owe-much-to-fvr-arroyo-gives-poignant-tribute-to-ramos)