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Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel Valdez Ramos (born March 18, 1928), military hero of the 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, became the 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30, 1992. He succeeded Corazon Aquino and governed until 1998, when he was succeeded by Joseph Estrada.
His six-year term as president was widely recognized in building economic and political growth and stability in the country despite facing communist insurgencies, an Islamic separatist movement in Mindanao and the onslaught of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Born in 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan, the son of a United Nations ambassador and a cousin to Ferdinand Marcos, Ramos pursued a career in the military and in engineering. His long association with the United States started when he graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1950, culminating with a graduate degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois the following year. He fought alongside U.S. forces in the Korean War and later commanded a Filipino contingency in the Vietnam War.
Although committed to democracy, he served the Marcos regime for more than 20 years -- in the military, as head of the Philippine Constabulary, the country's national police force, and as a trusted advisor. Over time, however, Ramos became disillusioned with Marcos's political repression, cronyism, financial corruption, and poor economic policies. When the People Power Revolution erupted in 1986, Ramos sided with Aquino. The military followed his lead and swung the pendulum in her favor.
After Aquino assumed the presidency, she appointed Ramos Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and later Secretary of Defense, foiling seven coup attempts against the Aquino administration.
During his administration, Ramos began implementing economic reforms intended to open up the once-closed national economy, encourage private enterprise, invite more foreign and domestic investment, and reduce corruption.
Towards the end of his term, Ramos talked of amending the Constitution to allow for a second term (A Filipino can only serve one six-year term as President). Widespread public protests forced him to drop the demand, and he left office after the end of his term in 1998. After his presidency, Ramos remained one of the most influential political leaders in the Philippines.
Ramos became the country's third president of Ilocano descent and the first Protestant. He is married with five children. Ramos has received several military awards including the U.S. Military Academy Distinguished Award, the U.S. Legion of Merit and the French Legion of Honor. He was also the first Asian recipient of the UNESCO Peace Award and was a recipient of various awards and honorary doctorates.
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