Contributors

Fidel V. Ramos Former President, Republic of the Philippines

Fidel V. Ramos
Former President, Republic of the Philippines

Fidel V. Ramos

Fidel V. Ramos was born on 18 March 1928 in Lingayen, Pangasinan. His father, Narciso Ramos (1900–1986), was a lawyer, journalist and five-term legislator of the House of Representatives, who eventually rose to the position of Secretary of Foreign Affairs. His mother, Angela Valdez (1905–1977), was an educator and woman suffragette hailing from Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Ramos took his elementary education at Lingayen Public Schools.  He began secondary education at the University of the Philippines High School (1940-41) in Manila, and continued at Mapúa Institute of Technology High School (1942-44).  He graduated high school from Centro Escolar University in 1945. He was enrolled in Civil Engineering at the National University in Manila and in the same year took the qualifying examinations for the US Military Academy, passed it and in 1946 entered West Point.

He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1950, with a Bachelor of Science in Military Engineering, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Philippine Army.  In his senior year, he applied and was accepted for graduate scholarship with the University of Illinois, graduating with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1951, after which he returned to the Philippines to serve in the Philippine Army.  He made it to the Top 8 in the Civil Engineering Board Exam in the Philippines in 1953.  He also earned a master’s degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines in 1969, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1980. To-date, Ramos has received a total of 29 honorary doctorate degrees.

Ramos, along with the Philippines’ 20th Battalion Combat Team and the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK), fought in the Korean War as an Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon Leader.  Ramos was named one of the heroes of the Battle of Hill Eerie, where he led his platoon to sabotage the enemy in Hill Eerie.  He was also present in the Vietnam War as a non-combat civil military engineer and Chief of Staff of the Philippine Civil Action Group (PHILCAG).  Ramos has received several military awards including the Philippine Legion of Honor (1988, 1991), the Distinguished Conduct Star (1991), the Distinguished Service Star (1966, 1967, 1981), Philippine Military Merit Medal (1952), the United States Legion of Merit, the French Legion of Honor, and the U.S. Military Academy Distinguished Graduate Award and Legion of Merit (1990).  Ramos founded the Philippine Army Special Forces. And then, he was named to be Commander of the Army’s 3rd Division based in Cebu City.

Ramos headed the Philippine Constabulary, a major service branch of the Armed Forces that acted as the country’s national police until 1972 when Martial Law was imposed.  In 1975, all civic and municipal police forces in the country were integrated by decree, and it became known as the Integrated National Police (INP), which was under the control and supervision of the Constabulary.  As head of the PC, Ramos was ex-officio the INP’s first concurrent Director-General.

Ramos was named AFP Vice-Chief of staff in 1982, becoming the military’s second most powerful official, receiving the rank of a three-star general.  Ramos later became Acting AFP Chief of Staff until 1985 after Gen. Fabian Ver was cleared of charges in relation to the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino.  Ramos had also formed the Special Action Force of the Philippine Constabulary to deal with terrorist-related crimes.

On 22 February 1986, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile protested alleged fraud committed by Marcos in the 1986 snap elections, withdrawing support and triggering the People Power Revolution.  General Ramos later also defected and followed Enrile into Camp Crame, and both shifted their allegiance to Corazón Aquino.  On 25 February, the EDSA Revolution reached its peak when Marcos, along with his family, fled into exile to Hawaii with the assistance of the USA.

Of Ramos’ martial law record, Primitivo Mijares, a novelist and journalist, opined:  “In the military, I could only point out to Major General Fidel V. Ramos, Constabulary Chief, as the only relatively clean ranking officer of the armed forces.”

During the presidency of Corazon Aquino, Ramos was appointed AFP Chief of Staff, and later Secretary of National Defense, as well as Chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council. The early years of Ramos’ presidency (1992–1995) were distinguished by economic boom, technological development, political stability, and efficient delivery of basic needs to the people.  Ramos brought in US$20 billion in foreign investment and the Philippine Stock Exchange was one of the best in the mid-1990s. He created the National Unification Commission.  He was one of the most influential leaders, and the unofficial spokesman of liberal democracy in Asia.

In 1995, a Chinese military structure was discovered on Mischief Reef in the Spratlys, 130 nautical miles off the coast of Palawan. The Philippines issued a formal protest over China’s occupation of the reef, and the Philippine Navy arrested 62 Chinese fishermen at Half Moon Shoal, 80 kms from Palawan.  With confirmation that structures were of military design, Ramos had the military forces in the region strengthened. He ordered the Philippine Air Force to dispatch 5 F-5 jet fighters backed by 4 jet trainers and 2 helicopters, while the Philippine Navy sent 2 additional ships. China claimed they built shelters for fishermen but these small incidents could have well triggered a war in the South China Sea.

FVR is also Chairman Emeritus of The Maritime League.

Roilo S. Golez Former Congressman, 2nd District of Parañaque City, Philippine House of Representatives

Roilo S. Golez
Former Congressman, 2nd District of Parañaque City, Philippine House of Representatives

Roilo S. Golez

Roilo Golez was born on 9 January 1947, in the town of Looc, Romblon, Philippines. At that time, his parents were both public school teachers.From rural Philippines, Golez rose to success in academics, sports, government,business, civic organizations and politics.

The family moved to Project 3, a low cost government housing project in Quezon City. That was after his father was commissioned as a reserve officer in the Philippine Navy at the late age of 34, while his mother started work as a clerk in the Metropolitan Water District, the predecessor of the the MWSS.  Roilo studied in the public schools of Project 3.

Golez entered the Philippine Military Academy and later the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree, major in mathematics and operations analysis.

While at Annapolis, he distinguished himself in academics, leadership and sports. He was consistently in the Superintendent’s Honor List. He was selected company commander, a high position in the Brigade of Midshipmen and was a brigade boxing champion for four straight years, establishing a record as the first to achieve this feat.

After Annapolis, Golez earned his Master in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of the Philippines, graduating valedictorian of his class.

Golez pursued a long career as a public servant of the Philippine Government,and below are just the highlights:• 3 years as Postmaster General, where he received the prestigious Ten Outstanding Young Men Award (TOYM) for public service excellence.

  • 3 years as a member of the Philippine Cabinet, serving as National Security Adviser, overseeing the country’s counter-terrorism and national security program.
  • 18 years as Congressman of Parañaque. He has consistently received the award One of the Most Outstanding Congressmen of the Philippines. He served his 6th term as Congressman and won all his election victories by landslide, thus earning the title “Landslide King of Parañaque.”
  • He has served as Chairman of the Committee on Public Order & Security;Chairman of the Committee on National Defense; and as Deputy Minority Leader.
  • Golez is also credited for concreting the most number of roads and constructing the most number of school buildings in the history of Parañaque City.
  • 20 years as Governor of the Philippine National Red Cross, where he received the Bayani Red Cross Gold Medal Award for heroism and bravery in the face of gunfire while leading a Red Cross rescue team to rescue wounded soldiers during the bloody December 1989 coup attempt.
  • 28 years as a Rotarian of the Rotary Club of Manila.
  • 14 years as a Philippine Navy officer, with the rank of navy captain (full colonel in the army).
  • 4 years as professor in the Master in Business Administration Program at the University of the Philippines.
  • 4 years as professor of management at the Asian Institute of Management.

Golez has extensive experience in corporate affairs, having served as chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or board member in several major corporations in the fields of shipbuilding, health products, fast foods, real estate, marketing, security equipment, telecommunications, banking, oil exploration and insurance.

Golez provided an in-depth analysis and presentation on the on-going West Philippine Sea/South China Sea dispute in Tokyo, and at the Asian Institute of Management. Golez continues to follow the situation closely.

Golez is a proponent of naval sea power, solar power, and nano technology.

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