Fidel V. Ramos


Fidel V. Ramos : biography

March 18, 1928 –

On 1983, on August 8, during a speech for the Philippine Constabulary Day in Camp Crame, Marcos announced that he is removing then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile from the chain of command, creating a new chain of command which would start from the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces up to Ver, the AFP chief of staff. Marcos also removed the operational control of the Integrated National Police from the Philippine Constabulary under Ramos and transferred it under direct control of Chief of Staff Ver. The Constabulary has now only the administrative supervision over the INP.

When Ver was implicated in the assassination of Former Senator "Ninoy" Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983, Ramos became the acting AFP chief of staff for a short time only because on 1985, Ver was reinstated after he was acquitted by the court on the charges against him with regards to the assassination of the Marcos regime’s chief political enemy and renowned opposition leader.

Ramos, at this time, also formed the Special Action Force of the Philippine Constabulary to deal with terrorist-related crimes.

On February 22, 1986, then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile protested the alleged fraud committed by Marcos in the country’s snap presidential elections and therefore, withdrew his support from him and staged a non-violent People Power Revolution to overthrow him. General Ramos followed later. The duo also declared their support to Corazon Aquino, the late Ninoy’s wife and Marcos’ main election rival.

On February 25, the revolution reached its peak and conclusion when Marcos, along with his family, friends and some supporters were taken by the US government and forced them into exile in the state of Hawaii on the United States, thus ending the 20-year Marcos military dictatorship when Aquino took her oath as the new but first woman president of the Philippines.

Combat record

When belittled by the press regarding his combat record, Ramos responded with trademark sarcasm (July 31, 1987): I fought the communists as part of the battalion combat teams, I went up the ladder. Battalion staff officer. Company commander. Task Force commander. Special Forces group commander. Brigade commander. All in different periods in our country. Huk campaign. Korean War campaign. The Vietnam War, and I was the head of the advance party of the PHILCAG (Philippine Civil Action Group to Vietnam) that went to a tiny province at the Cambodian border – the so-called Alligator Jaw – War Zone Z where even Max Soliven said ‘The Viet-Cong will eat us up.’ Of course, we were physically there as non-combat troops. But you try to be a non-combat troop in a combat area – that is the toughest kind of assignment. Korea – as a platoon leader. Recon leader. What is the job of a recon leader? To recon the front line – no man’s land. And what did we do? I had to assault a fortified position of the Chinese communists and wiped them out. And what is this Special Forces group that we commanded in the Army – ’62–’65? That was the only remaining combat unit in the Philippine Army. The rest were training in a division set-up. We were in Luzon. We were in Sulu. And then, during the previous regime, Marawi incident. Who was sent there? Ramos. We defended the camp, being besieged by 400 rebels. So next time, look at the man’s record, don’t just write and write. You said, no combat experience, no combat experience. Look around you who comes from the platoon, who rose to battalion staff, company commander, group commander, which is like a battalion, brigade commander, here and abroad. Abroad, I never had an abroad assignment that was not combat. NO SOFT JOBS FOR RAMOS. Thirty-seven years in the Armed Forces. REMEMBER THAT. You’re only writing about the fringe, but do not allow yourself to destroy the armed forces by those guys. You write about the majority of the Armed Forces who are on the job. That’s why we’re here enjoying our freedom, ladies and gentlemen. You are here. If the majority of the Armed Forces did not do their job, I doubt very much if you’d all be here.