Former general Fidel Valdez Ramos, the 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines and the most iconic hero of the EDSA 1986 revolution, is now gone. He is 98 years old.
Some call him “Eddie”, others “FVR” or for some in the media as “Tabako,” but there is one tag that stuck with him– “Busy Eddie” the most hardworking president this nation ever knew.
I was a young reporter when I covered him and I can attest to him being a hard worker. If you cover him, be ready to meet him in the event earlier than usual. I had the opportunity to meet with him personally and intimately together with Joal or Jose Almonte.
History books knew him as the hero of the Korean war as he led a Philippine contingent in annihilating 50,000 Chinese and North Korean soldiers despite being overwhelmed and undergunned.
FVR is also the iconic hero of EDSA when he led his Philippine Constabulary forces out of their camps in protest against the dictatorial regime of former president Ferdinand Marcos, his erstwhile cousin. Eddie and former defense ministry Juan Ponce Enrile holed themselves up inside Camp Crame and declared their rebellion against Marcos. After almost a week, Marcos went out of the palace and into the arms of the Americans in Hawaii.
Fidel ran and became the second post-EDSA president from 1992 to 1998. During this period, FVR was credited for successfully lifting the Philippines from its economic morass and increasing foreign investor confidence.
In the ouster of his successor Joseph Estrada, FVR lent his hand and his resources to then vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Though FVR criticized Arroyo during her stint, he did not join efforts at ousting her unconstitutionally.
In 2016, FVR men composed of trusted political lieutenants from Lakas, helped campaign for then Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte won over Roxas, who happens to be one of FVR’s ardent supporters. Manong Eddie visited Duterte several times in Malacanan.
It is not known however, if Manong Eddie already spoke with new president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior, the very same way Enrile did. It was under Lakas-CMD that Bongbong ran and won this last elections.