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PIA Press Release

Ex-President was not singling out PGMA in Libingan speech, says FVR's spokesman

Manila (25 February) -- Former President Fidel V. Ramos was not singling out President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when he said that it has become customary to denigrate the EDSA events "perhaps because the greed, the apathy, and the corruption we brought down then are once again rearing their heads."

In a press statement, Ed Malay, media relations adviser to the former President, clarified today that the essence of Ramos' speech was that the "fight to weed out graft is everybody's business."

Malay was referring to Ramos' speech at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last Friday (Feb. 22) marking the opening of the EDSA l People Power event.

The former President was not "singling out the Arroyo administration but said that graft and corruption is a problem around the world, the Philippines included, and that there are new tyrannies in the form of self-serving leaders, immoderately greedy autocrats, and cliques of corrupt officials that the citizenry must still confront," Malay said.

"This is the essence of the message of the former President (Ramos) on the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the EDSA I People Power event that restored democracy in the Philippines on February 25, 1986," Malay pointed out.

He added Ramos believes that "the fight to reduce the level of corruption in the country and in all other countries where graft and corruption is a problem is not the responsibility of the government alone."

Malay also explained that "Ramos did not call on the people to stage another people-led uprising" even as FVR said in his speech that "history might yet call us to come together again -- to offer our lives and fortunes on the altar of our civic ideals as there are oligarchies, dynasties, and opportunists we are yet to banish from our political and economic life."

"To do this, Ramos told the Filipino people that the best way to commemorate the Spirit of EDSA and honor the heroes who lie here is for every Filipino to aspire to the same high standard of civic responsibility and that for every citizen to make a difference by joining hands to lift up the common life and raise the country to the position of dignity and esteem (that) the Philippines deserves in the community of nations," Malay said.

He said the former President had wanted the "Spirit of EDSA (to) remind each and every citizen of the Philippines -- poor or rich, young or old, lowly or elite – that they can make a difference by taking an active role in the country's political affairs by helping in the management of public affairs, since this was a right and equally a duty for every citizen."

In his Libingan nga mga Bayani speech, "Ramos said the times of peace and social stability seem to fritter away in view of bickering -- in quarreling like crabs caught in a bamboo trap -- with each one pursuing his or her self-interest," Malay stressed. (OPS) [top]

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Philippine Official Gazette | Office of the President | Presidential Communications Operations Office
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