• FVR: We’re back to square one

    Gone to waste What he and others mounted on EDSA nearly 30 years ago were all for naught as former President Fidel V. Ramos on Friday laments that the same old evils continue to plague the country. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

    Gone to waste What he and others mounted on EDSA nearly 30 years ago were all for naught as former President Fidel V. Ramos on Friday laments that the same old evils continue to plague the country. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

    ‘Greed, corruption brought down by EDSA People Power remain with us’

    “The greed, corruption, cronyism and kleptocracy we brought down at EDSA are still with us today,” former President Fidel V. Ramos said on Friday.

    Ramos was speaking nearly 30 years after he and former National Defense Minister and now Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, along with other civilian and military officers, led a “people power revolution” against then-strongman Ferdinand Marcos, his second cousin.

    The former leader, who earlier served in the Cabinet of post-People Power President Corazon Aquino first as chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and later as Secretary of National Defense, however, did not elaborate on why the very same evils that toppled a perceived despotic regime have not been eradicated after almost three decades.

    The so-called revolution took place on EDSA (Epifanio del los Santos Avenue), a major highway in Metro Manila straddling Caloocan, Quezon, Mandaluyong, Pasig and Paranaque cities, from February 22 to February 25 in 1986.

    Recalling the reputedly bloodless uprising, Ramos told the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City,  “We gathered at EDSA and made our stand against the dictatorship because we loved freedom, and were tired of the country we had become.”

    “The spirit of EDSA emanates from the Filipinos’ act of unselfish caring and willing sacrifice… as Filipinos, we do believe that the best way to promote the spirit of EDSA is for concerned citizens to pull together,” he said.

    According to the former president, a West Point graduate, the people-power revolution is a continuing process and electoral exercises less than three months from now can be summoned to keep the flames of change burning.

    “With the coming [local and]national elections [on May 9], it is necessary to call attention to precious valuable lessons in our history,” Ramos told the media forum.

    He noted that it is the people’s responsibility to elect leaders who can put the interests of many above those of the few.

    Ramos reiterated his challenge to the country’s leaders to reform themselves for the common good, for them as “public servants and fellow concerned citizens to perform their duties selflessly.”

    Despite the greed, corruption, cronyism and kleptocracy that he said the government is still facing, he said he still sees a bright future for the country.

    “Yes, this country will be better. [But] leaders must play the principal role, they must carry the ball,” he pointed out.

    The forum served as an occasion for the former president to launch his new book “2030: One World, One Community, One Family,” a compilation of his select essays, articles and other writings.

    The book was written in time for the coming 30th anniversary of the people power revolution and within the context of the coming local and national elections and the threat of international terrorism.

    “As Filipinos, we do believe that the best way to promote the Spirit of EDSA is for everyone of us, as concerned citizens, to pull together, uplift the common life and raise our country to a position of dignity and admiration the Philippines deserves in the community of nations.” Ramos said.

    In the same forum, he reiterated his support for Rep. Leni Robredo, who is running for the vice presidency under the Liberal Party slate of standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.
    Ramos said if Jesse Robredo were alive, he would have endorsed his candidacy for President.

    “I was very close to him,” he added, referring to Jesse Robredo, Leni’s husband.

    It was on the eve of the start of the campaign period for national candidates in February when Ramos officially endorsed the candidacy of Robredo’s widow.

    Although the former leader has decided on who among the vice presidential candidates he will support, he said he has yet to pick his bet for the presidency and will give his endorsement two weeks before the elections.

    His parting shot to Filipinos, and especially to the next President of the Philippines: “With all due respect to everybody, the best quality we should adopt is to have one competitive Philippine team. Otherwise, baka hanggang beauty contest lang tayo magaling. Di tayo aangat [we might end up being good only in beauty contests. We won’t get ahead with just that].”


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    1. Filipinos lack discipline in their own country. This is what I observed when I was overseas. They obey the rules of law of their host country but not in their own country. Is it because they don’t respect their leaders? Well, can’t blame them. Our leaders have shown what they truly are when they are in power. Honesty, loyalty to their country is almost non-existent.

    2. Look further for the answers to what ails our country. We only have ourselves to blame why we are back to square one. We had the opportunity to correct everything that Marcos did after the EDSA revolution but Cory and her kamaganak inc. swooped in and established their brand of cronyism and brought back the old oligarchs. New face but same old ways. And now, the legacy of Cory continues today led by her son da AbNoy. Much worse because he had formalized the criminalization of the government thru DAP, PDAF, cnditional cash transfer, selective prosecution for plunder which has spared his kaibigan, kaklase and other numerous sins that only validates that no meaningful change has really happened.

    3. The only solution is pick a president that loves his/her country. All obstacles will just be secondary. I have not seen a president in the past that loves his country so this will be an impossible dream.

    4. *
      “As Filipinos, we do believe that the best way to promote the Spirit of EDSA is for everyone of us, as concerned citizens, to pull together, uplift the common life and raise our country to a position of dignity and admiration the Philippines deserves in the community of nations.” Ramos said.

      >> — HOPEFULLY, working together does not come at the expense of the individual; working together should not be forced. Convincing others to work for the common good of the country and its people is a difficult task.
      His parting shot to Filipinos, and especially to the next President of the Philippines: “With all due respect to everybody, the best quality we should adopt is to have one competitive Philippine team. Otherwise, baka hanggang beauty contest lang tayo magaling. Di tayo aangat

      >> — SKIN DEEP BEAUTY will never just succeed; winning pageants shouldn’t be the only thing the country is good at. It will take a lot of convincing to remain in the Philippines when other countries have more opportunity.

    5. Isa ka pang tabako ka… Isa ka sa sumira sa pagpapaunlad ng bansa. during your term you travel abroad 21 times, pero wala ka namng naimbita na mga foreign investors, and before your terms finished, a lot of investor capital flight by night. They withdraw their investment in the Philippines and fled somewhere in neighboring countries.. Sa term mo din ang tax ng PPA ikaw ang may approve nito…na hanggang ngayon pahirap sa bayan… ?? do you remember this PPA mr. tabako???
      Sa iyo ding term ang Al Amarri scam deal.. Ibenenta mo iyong dagat ng manila bay sa luneta..hanggan duon sa MOA.. Dating dagat ang MOA, ngayon pagaari ni henry sy, at ang HeAD Office ng SM ay tapat ng MOA.. part of a manila bay din…kaya nagka baha baha sa manila… dahil dito sa mga establishment na ito…

    6. It all boils down to the quality of leadership of the leaders we elect. We need patriotic, self-less servant leaders from the presidency all the way down to the LGUs. It appears that Philippine society needs to be passed through a bloody wringer of conflict or external threat to be able to draw out these patriots. That is FVR’s dilemma, he knows the pain and futility of war and conflict ….and can you even think of putting yourself in the place of those refugees fleeing the conflict in Iraq and Syria?

    7. Monumental accomplishment of the conjugal dictatorship is placing Philippines second to the poorest nation in Asia.They had plundered the wealth of our nation causing poverty never experienced prior to their regime .If you remember what happened to Negros were compared to Africa where famous American celebrities composed the song We Are The World to support these cause of famine in Africa.NPA thrived during the reign of the dictator Marcos due to injustice and Japayuki due to poverty.

    8. The only way corruption shall be eradicated is if everybody respect the law and those
      who violated the law be punished.

    9. Filipinos in general doesn’t trust or believe in the government, they see public officials as not trustworthy, that they were there only just a warm body but not to help them. Filipinos don’t “follow rules and or laws, they don’t think or aim bigger and or higher. Point in case, the unregulated transport system (mass transport). How could the so called “leaders, planners, economists, entrepreneurs, businesses, everybody; can’t see that Jeepneys is simply not viable means of mass transport or in general the whole transport industry of the Philippines. Why these jeepneys doesn’t evolve, modernize with times and situation. Why can’t Filipinos cannot follow “rules of the road” or have courtesy among pedestrians, motorist (public and private). Why can’t these jeepney drivers and or operators “think outside the box” aim for “bigger and or better”. Why they always think “they are losing their job i lieu of getting better and modern—efficient and convenient–they always think only about themselves–a clear picture of what Filipinos are, self first before anything. Why are Filipinos while driving are arrogant. Why Filipinos talk a lot but lacking in “implementation and execution”. Ex-president Ramos is right, days will come we will only good on beauty contest (male or female). Filipino (am also) race is a “dysfunctional” race–too much corruption. Somehow, that “strong familial ties” are not in the best assets Filipinos are known, it become a hindrance for growth–because it is being use in a wrong way or context–for instance, if your guilty of something– you will or the family will support you to the point of hiding the truth. Why at the age past our adolescence, with family of our own, still living in one house, and worse the male father doesn’t have a stable job–why because they are picky. Unemployment in Philippines are the cause of unmatched between available skills related to the job market or needs. Why almost everybody wants to be lawyer, nurse?… Something is wrong!!!!!

      • Dee..

        Do you know what empathy means? Did you already try how to live on the other person’shoes (jeepney drivers)?

        Before you say blah blah, try to look upon yourself dude…you don’t know anything except google

    10. Election will never be a solution it has been tried through out our History after WWII. People’s Power Revolution or all-out Revolution of the Chinese or Vietnamese type could be the alternative not the corrupted People Power, symbolically headed by seemingly honest Corazon Aquino.

    11. ernie del rosario on

      I beg to disagree Former President Ramos. We are NOT back to Square One. The fact is we NEVER was able to escape Square one despite EDSA 1 or even Edsa 2. We are in a much worse Square X in corruption, crimes and poverty, rape of our rule of law and Constitution, etc. What changed only are the characters in the continuing assault on the nation’s democracy and riches. EDSA 1 shd have ushered in a real system change, not just a leadership change. EDSA 1 had that golden opportunity, but its “heroes’ (kuno) squandered it. 30 years after the supposed yellow revolution has darkened into a hue nearer what we throw out into our sanitary closet. We are on the brink of being or if not already in a failed state.

    12. How disappointing of former president Fidel Ramos..is he really endorsing Leni Robredo just because she was the wife of Jesse Robredo and that he was very close to him? What about ability, experience and industry? Aren’t these very important traits? If every voter has that principle of voting someone they like and not because of ability, industry and honesty…kawawa naman talaga ang Pilipinas!

    13. So, Tabaco…..what are u waiting for? Why did u endorse LENI? All those that traitored FM have come back in supporting Bongbong……Ilocano ka pa naman, pwe.Anyway, no one believes u anymore.

    14. No Mr FVR, you are not back to square one, you and the Aquinos expanded corruption. That’s why the other presidents after you and Cory are doing the same thing(corrupt,corrupt,corrupt)

    15. Bert O. Romero on

      EDSA was never meant as a vehicle towards society’s transformation. It was a self -interest driven grab for self preservation by Ramos , Enrile and RAM boys , who were all on the verge of being rendered inutile and insignificant in the power struggle being won by Ver, Espino , Ochoa etc , and supported by Manila-based public only on its second day. Cory , who was in Cebu , and the residents of Manila never knew that a coup d’état , much less a people power revolution , was being hatched . Even Ramos threw his hat into the ring and expressed support for the coup literally minutes before Enrile and his RAM boys holed themselves in Camp Aguinaldo.
      EDSA was a missed opportunity as has been the Philippine story . Cory herself as president frittered away universal sympathy and support heaped on the Philippines and didn’t ask, as did other Latin Merican countries similarly financially challenged but without universal popularity and support . So the country from Cory to her now son – president, presided over a country which continues to reel from poverty, corruption, social degradation and other ailments that plague a failed state.
      EDSA was simply an aberration with much sound and fury signifying failure and wastefulness.

    16. What about the the mismanagement of NAPOCOR during Ramos regime incurring debts in billions of pesos? Kaya nga, hanggang ngayon binabayaran pa ng mga consumers ang mga perang kinorap ng mga tiga-NAPOCOR noon at diyan nagsimula ang napakataas ng power rates na hanggang ngayon hindi pa ma-ayos ayos, di ba?

    17. Kudos to Mr. FVRamos, nobody could have said it better than a previous president. He knows that the downfall of the Philippine government are those grafter and corrupt piliticians which still so rampant in our society. They are the ANTI-CHRIST.

    18. After all those wasted years, napakalungkot isipin na we’re back to square one. Ang napakasaklap kung bumalik pa tayo sa mas masahol pa sa square one, di po ba? BS Aquino spent P15 Trillion in 6 years. Whereas, Ferdinand Marcos spent P486 Billion in 21 years.

      In 2016 alone, BS Aquino’s budget is P3 Trillion, which is already more than 6 times the money spent by Marcos in 21 years as President. Pagkatapos ay mas malayong mas marami pang nagawang accomplishments ni Marcos kaysa kay BS Aquino. Ang listahan ng nagawa ni Marcos ay napakahaba samantalang ang nagawa ni BS Aquino ay maigsi lamang. Kaya napakalaki ang pagkakaiba ng administration ni Marcos kumpara kay BS Aquino. Trillions ang pagkakaiba. Pagkatapos ay hindi pa natin malaman kung saan napunta. Matuwid na daan pa more.

      Pagkatapos ay ipagpapatuloy pa daw kuno ni Mar Roxas ang matuwid na daan ni BS Aquino. Matuwid na daan pa more daw kuno.

      Fool Us Once Shame on You – Fool Us Twice Shame on Us!!!

      • Giovanni jimenez caspe on

        Sa totoo lng himdi nakatulong ang edsa bagkus nakatulong ito sa paglala ng corruption sa bansa… napalaya nga tayo sa diktadorya pero napalaya din ang mga mapagsamantala sa kaban ng bayan natin na lalong lumala magpahangang ngayon…ang naidulot ng edsa hindi kaginhawaan sa nakararami bagkus pinalala nito ang monopoliya ng business sector na nagpahirap lalo sa mamayang pilipino na hindi pinahintulotan ng dating presidente ferdinand marcos na ayaw sa monopoliya pinasara nya ang mga establisamento na hindi sang ayon. Katulad ng ford, meralco at iba pa. ang edsa ginamit lng ng mga mapagsamantala upang maisakatuparan ang mga mithiing pansarili at hindi sa bayan. Ang pagpatay ni ninoy ay hindi si marcos ang may gawa simpling logic lang matalinong tao si marcos alam nya na pagpinapatay nya si ninoy galit ng tao ay mabaling sa kanya kaya . Ano sino ang may gawa? Kundi iyong mga taong mapagsamantala na ditractor ni marcos noon… na hangang ngayon ang iba ay nasa actibong pamulitika pa… nabiglang yumaman sa pagdaan ng tatlong dekada na ginawang mga OIC noon pagkatapos patalsikin si marcos..alam ko na ligid alam ng mga aquino ang katotohanan na magpahangang ngayon hindi naresolba ang pagpatay kay ninoy.. sapagkat pinagtakpan nla ito para sa pansariling kapakanan at sa pag preserba sa legaciya ng kanilang angkan. Datapwat alam nila mismo na hindi si pres marcos ang may gawa noon. Kundi ang mga taong ang iba patuloy na nakaupo sa antas ng ating politika ang iba retirado na bagkus actibo pa rin na maituring nating tagapayo ng partidong politikal…ang lihim nato hindi mailihim magpakaylanman…

      • Giovanni jimenez caspe on

        The truth will prevail…and set us free… if they will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour and repent for their wicked ways.. for God nothing is impossible… antabayanan natin … coz our God is a working miracle God… Our God touches everyones heart to repent… coz God love us so much he wont like some will perish but to have eternal life with him in heaven…whats out folks….

      • Ask Manila Stock Exchange why they want present government to continue. Because it gave highest economic growth and investment to the country, which means finally investors now trust to invest. Fly higher and see clear perspective from outside in. Do not listen and repeat commentaries from all reporters or politicians because some of the former are paid and almost all latter have agenda. Nakakaawa po ang Pilipinas lahat ng umupo puwera si Pnoy nangurakot by the billions. Ilan sa senators may billions graft cases din? Pati mayors in Makati and Caloocan may billlion cases din. Mayaman ang Pilipinas at nakatayo pa rin. Sana kayong mamayan naman ang makinabang.