Fidel Valdez Ramos

(b. 1928)

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(b. 18 Mar. 1928).

President of the Philippines 1992–8

Early career

Born in Lingayen into one of the country's most influential families, he graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, and was then trained at Fort Bragg. He participated in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Ramos became the chief of the notorious Philippine Constabulary, which was responsible for the terror that kept Marcos in power. However, in 1986, when popular resistance to Marcos became almost overwhelming, he sided with Corazón Aquino and was thus to a considerable extent responsible for the end of the Marcos regime. He was rewarded by Aquino by his appointment as Chief of General Staff (1986–8), and as Minister of Defence (1988–91).

In office

Ramos was as important to the young democracy as he had been to the Marcos regime, strengthening Aquino's government against various coup attempts, as well as against the rebellious Communist New People's Army. With Aquino's blessing, he was elected President on 11 May 1992, but was faced by a hostile Congress, in which he did not command a majority. He sought to continue Aquino's efforts to stabilize the political system, most controversially by appeasing the military. On 2 Sept. 1996 he signed a peace treaty with Nur Misauri, the leader of the rebel Moro National Liberation Front. Although some rebel groups opposed the agreement, it provided the basis for a settlement of a brutal civil war raging since 1972. Ramos was barred by the constitution from standing for the presidency again, but remained an influential figure in the Philippines.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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