Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos dies at 94

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Former President of the Phillipines Fidel Ramos addresses the Economic and Trade Forum in Chongqing, southwest China, Oct. 13, 2005. [Photo/Xinhua]

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos died from COVID-19 complications on Sunday afternoon at the age of 94.

Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles, Press Secretary of Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, confirmed Ramos' death.

"It is with great sorrow that we learn (about) the passing of President Fidel V. Ramos. He leaves behind a colorful legacy and a secure place in history for his participation in the great changes in our country as (a) military officer and chief executive," she said.

"We deeply condole with his family, friends, classmates, and associates and keep him in our prayers."

The Ramos family also issued an official statement on the former leader's death.

"We thank you all for respecting our privacy, as the family takes some time to grieve together," the statement said.

Philippine National Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong also confirmed Ramos' demise.

"The Department of National Defense is one with the nation in mourning the passing of the former President Ramos," Andolong said, crediting Ramos for starting "the modernization and professionalization" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Andolong said that Ramos had "a sterling career" from being a decorated soldier, a diplomat, and the secretary of national defense before becoming president.

Born on March 18, 1928, in Pangasinan province, north of Manila, Ramos was a military leader and politician who was the 12th president of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998.

Ramos studied at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York and the University of Illinois in the United States before entering the Philippine army. He has served as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

As president, he encouraged reforms on tax and economy, helping revitalize the economy in the Southeast Asian country.

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