Former President Fidel V. Ramos will be given a state funeral today (Tuesday) before he is laid to rest beside the grave sites of fellow former presidents Elpidio Quirino and Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
This will be the first state funeral for a former president since 1997 for the late Diosdado Macapagal.
The family of the late presidents Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino III previously declined the Palace offer to accord each of them a state funeral in 2009 and 2021, respectively.
The Philippine Army said its Security and Escort Battalion is all set for the state funeral for Ramos, who died on July 31 at the age of 94.
Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said a battalion-sized contingent of honor guards will render funeral departure honors for Ramos at the Heritage Park in Taguig City, where the cremated remains of the former commander-in-chief currently lie in state.
“Soldiers will then accompany the convoy of the former first family and other VIP guests to the Libingan ng mga Bayani. A second battalion-sized contingent will accord funeral arrival honors for the remains of the late president upon arrival at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Trinidad said.
“The honor guards will then join a composite team in the funeral march to the inurnment site. Full military honors and a 21-gun salute will conclude the state funeral,” he added
“Soldiers are also wearing black armbands on their uniform’s left sleeve in accordance with the military tradition on the passing of a former commander-in-chief,” Trinidad said.
Guests who will attend the ceremony are requested to wear white and bring their umbrellas in case of inclement weather. Movement will be restricted when the ceremonies begin at 10 a.m., and military marshals will also be onsite to guide and direct the flow of traffic and people.
Three tents will be positioned near the gravesite for the Diplomatic Corps, government officials, and family and close friends, the Army added. After the ceremonies, refreshments will be available at the Bulwagan, which is approximately 20 to 25 meters from the gravesite.
Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio yesterday paid her last respects to Ramos, whom she described as the “most disciplined and mission-accomplished President.”
“As Filipinos, we will never forget FVR’s efforts to raise the economic level of our country and bring peace to Mindanao and the entire Philippines,” she said.
Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. honored Ramos’ service to the country both as a soldier and a public servant.
“We clearly have suffered the loss for our country. But the memories of him will be good because of the good work he did for the Philippines,” Marcos said of Ramos, who is his distant uncle.
Ramos was the 12th president of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998.
He previously served as chief of the then-Philippine Constabulary, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Secretary of National Defense.
Marcos Jr., in Proclamation No. 33, has declared July 31 to Aug. 9, 2022, as national days of mourning for Ramos.
A state funeral has four characteristics: Funeral expenses are covered by the state, a book of condolence is opened for local and foreign dignitaries, a lying in state for public viewing is held, and arrival, departure, and final military honors are rendered.
The Official Gazette bulletin also enumerated the following elements of military honors:
• Flag-draped casket
• Vigil guard detail to stand guard by the casket
• Firing detail, including a cannon for gun salutes and/or musketry
• “Taps” or a musical piece sounded during funerals involving the trumpet and bugle
Other than Philippine presidents, the state also offers the privilege to vice presidents (former and current), the current Senate president, and the current speaker of the House of Representatives.
The President appoints a Committee on Funeral Arrangements and Burial to facilitate state funerals.
According to the Presidential Museum and Library, previous state funerals, typically consisted of the Executive Secretary, the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense, the governor of the deceased president’s home province, a member of the deceased president’s family, and representatives from the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the House of Representatives.
Apart from presidents, those buried at the Libingan include Medal of Valor awardees; secretaries of national defense; chiefs of staff of the AFP; active and retired military personnel of the AFP who died in the line of duty; veterans of the Philippine Revolution, World War I, World War II, and recognized guerrillas; government dignitaries and statesmen; and national artists and scientists.