Book prepa­ra­tions keep FVR away from Erap birth­day bash

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By RHO­D­INA VIL­LANUEVA

It’s no big deal. For­mer pres­i­dent Fidel Ramos said peo­ple should not make a big deal out of his ab­sence at the 80th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“I am so busy with the book launch­ing. I am launch­ing four books in four months,” he said.

Ramos made the state­ment as he led guests at the launch­ing of his com­mem­o­ra­tive book, “RPDEV@15: Our Con­tin­u­ing Voy­age for En­dur­ing Peace and Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment” at the MWSS build­ing yes­ter­day.

“Sunod-sunod eh… un­til the end of the year. And then we do the ‘legacy se­ries,’” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ramos, he greeted Estrada on his birth­day through a let­ter.

“I wrote him (Estrada) a nice let­ter. There’s noth­ing re­ally wrong go­ing on despite my non­ap­pear­ance at the birth­day cel­e­bra­tion,” he said.

Estrada was vice pres­i­dent to Ramos from 1992 to 1998.

Estrada’s guests in­cluded Pres­i­dent Duterte, for­mer pres­i­dent and now Pam­panga Rep. Glo­ria-Ma­ca­pa­gal Ar­royo and for­mer vice pres­i­dent Je­jo­mar Bi­nay.

The birth­day cel­e­bra­tion was held at the Manila Ho­tel last Wednesday.

The book fo­cused on RPDEV Foun­da­tion’s ac­com­plish­ments cel­e­brated after the first 15 years. It was au­thored by Me­landrew Ve­lasco, the Ramos fam­ily bi­og­ra­pher.

RPDEV stands for Ramos Peace and De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion Inc., which has memo­ri­al­ized the works and achieve­ments of the for­mer pres­i­dent.

“As I re­view the ac­com­plish­ments of RPDEV the past 15 years, I find so­lace in the thought that I made the right de­ci­sion: that upon stepping down from the pres­i­dency in June 1998, I em­barked on a con­tin­u­ing voy­age for en­dur­ing peace and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” Ramos said.

He added, “I al­ways re­mem­ber with grat­i­tude the readi­ness shown by my for­mer Cab­i­net mem­bers and other co-work­ers in govern­ment to join me in this voy­age. And I feel ful­filled when I see my fel­low Filipinos here and there, even those set­tled abroad ex­tend­ing as­sis­tance in ways that are mean­ing­ful so that we can bring our un­for­tu­nate coun­try­men to a bet­ter fu­ture through ac­tiv­i­ties RPDEV ini­ti­ates, pro­motes and pur­sues.”

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