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Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park Dr. Ernesto G. Ramos, Fil-Am Leader, Ran for Philippine President, Dies at 69
Dr. Ernesto G. Ramos, Fil-Am Leader, Ran for Philippine President, Dies at 69 PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Obituary-Memorial Park
Sunday, 31 October 2010 09:50

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

    

C HICAGO (jGLi) – Dr. Ernesto G. Ramos died last Monday, Oct. 25, at the age of 69 at Memorial Regional Hospital in Broward County, Florida. He was a workaholic Filipino-American community leader whose candidacy for President of the Philippines in the last May elections was denied by the Supreme Court when it affirmed the ruling of the Commission on Elections that his party, the Democratic Party of the Philippines, could not mount a national campaign,

 

Dr. Joyce Bruce, Ernie Ramos’ fellow officer in Florida’s chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), said Mr. Ramos, a native of Binalonan, Pangasinan, is survived by his wife, Judith, his parents Teofilo and Gaudencia Ramos, his siblings Ray and Luis of the Philippines; his sisters Patricia (Greg) of Montreal and Gloria (Joseph) of Chicago; his nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

 

Cause of death was not disclosed. (Editor’s Notes: Dr. Joy Bruce told this editor that Ernie Ramos suffered from lung cancer that spread to his brain. She said further that Mr. Ramos’ fatal illness was discovered only in August 2010. By that time, it was too late as the disease was already in a metastases stage.)

 

At the time of his death, Mr. Ramos was actively campaigning for the Nov. 2 election of Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL-17-D), who grabbed national attention when former President Bill Clinton urged but failed to convince him to drop out and endorse Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent quest to stymie Republican nominee’s Marco Rubio’s race for the U.S. Senate.

 

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF REP. MEEK

 

M r. Ramos was chief deputy director of Representative Meek before his death. He was also senior aide and speechwriter to Mr. Meek’s mother, Rep. Carrie P. Meek, who gave up her seat in favor of her son.

 

In his last postings to his friends and fellow countrymen on Aug. 25, 2010, which was received by this reporter, Mr. Ramos announced online, “Greetings! We won BIG last night and many thanks for your help!” He was referring to the result of the Democratic primary, where Mr. Meek got a lopsided 57% percentage vote against his opponent, Mr. Jeff Greene, who collected 31%.

 

In a surprising e-mail to this reporter on Nov. 24, 2009, Mr. Ramos wrote:
“Hi Joe --
“Greetings!  Just to keep you (posted) – attached are my e-mail and letter to our NaFFAA and
Florida leaders. I'll be leaving for Manila Friday – and we should (be) ready to file our candidacy come Monday high noon, Nov. 30, 2009.  Have a blest Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones! 
“Ernie Ramos”

 

(This reporter first met in Miami, Florida, Mr. Ramos, who witnessed the conviction of former Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez for tax evasion before the Southern Florida U.S. District Court on Nov. 14, 2003).

 

In his subsequent e-mails to his friends and supporters, Mr. Ramos explained he was running for President of the Philippines to be an alternative to trapo (traditional politicians) candidates, who “have no qualms about spending their billions of campaign funds to win this election -- you can rest assured our agenda as a servant-leader/statesman-candidate is committed to saving the next generation.

 

“It's along this patriotic idealism that we're pursuing this quest – not as a mere act adventurism nor is it to achieve fleeting honor or fame.”


When the Supreme Court denied his party’s ability to run a national campaign, although he said the various party groups supporting him have six-millions votes behind him mostly from
Mindanao, he described the High Court’s ruling as denial of his constitutional protection of equal rights.

 

He said, “Paradoxically, the same COMELEC approved the candidacy of former President Erap Estrada, a convicted felon, along with Vitaliano Acosta of Marcos' KBL party, as well as Nicanor Perlas and Jamby Madrigal who have no party at all.  This ironic approval was defined by a seemingly noble justification from the COMELEC, as reported on January 21, 2010 by the Philippine Star, that "... it is the Electorate's choice of who their President should be.  We should simply let the people decide and not substitute our judgment for the people's enlightened choice."  

 

28 YEARS OF POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE


D r. Ramos said, “Based on my 28-year political-and-legislative experience – 10 years as Legislative Director in the Senate of the Florida State Legislature and 18 years as Senior Deputy in the US Congress – interspersed by my involvement with the victorious 1992 Fidel V. Ramos (
FVR) campaign and the "garcified" 2004 FPJ campaign – I have yet to decipher the logic – let alone the fairness – of the above COMELEC statement. To be sure, this is COMELEC's farcical conundrum of the highest degree.”

 

As soon as his party was denied by the Supreme Court, Mr. Ramos warmed up to party of then Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III, although he had issues with Noynoy’s support for the “P32.808 billion pesos SCTEX extension (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) into his family-owned Hacienda Luisita, which violated our Constitution,” and eight of the farmers massacred in Hacienda Luisita were members of his Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA) along with 10 more farmers who were killed along Manila’s Mendiola bridge. He added he was “baffled by Noynoy Aquino’s authorship of Reproductive Bill 5043 (aka Abortion bill), which is again in violation of our Church’s basic teaching and our Constitution’s “sanctity of life and the protection of the mother and of the unborn."  

 

DEFINING MOMENTS

 

A bachelor’s degree holder from the University of Santo Tomas, Mr. Ramos obtained Ph. D. degree at the Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Dr. Ramos' peers consider the following as his defining moments: The chairmanship of the national Filipino-American Public Affairs Coalition, the first Fil-Am Political action committee since the first Filipinos from Ilocos immigrated to the US via Hawaii in 1906; as a son of a WW II veteran, he chaired the NaFFAA’s Filipino Veterans Legislative Committee on the board of the National Veterans Equity (NAFVE). He led also the 2006 campaign victory of Palm Beach Commissioner Jess Santamaria to become the first-ever Filipino American to be elected in Florida; he helped put up ONE NATION project in 1994 that helped 150,000 Florida immigrants become U.S. citizens, among them 42,000 Filipinos and other Asians;

 

Through Dr. Ramos' leadership, the community was able to save 10 Filipina mothers and their children from abusive U.S. citizen spouses from deportation under the 2000 Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) sponsored by Rep. Carrie Meek; Dr. Ramos coordinated also the 1997 Nicaraguan and Central American Refugee Act (NACARA) and the 1998 Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA) that granted green cards to more than 150,000 refugees from those countries; and directed the 27-member Florida Congressional delegation accessing monies to fund the $24-B “We Will Rebuild” project after the devastation by 1992 Hurricane Andrew and the $18-B Everglades Restoration Project, one of the world’s foremost eco-system enterprises protecting the environment. # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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Last Updated on Sunday, 31 October 2010 09:57
 

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