President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 17, graced the formal launching of a book titled “Make Change Work”, authored by former President Fidel Ramos.
Speaking during the event at the Department of Defense Social Hall in Camp Aguinaldo attended by present and former government officials, President Duterte said he welcomes both the support and criticism from the former President.
“President Fidel V. Ramos, you are my idol. You are my number one supporter, but at the same time you are the number one critic now,” Duterte said followed by laughter from the crowd.
“So it is a matter really of principle in life… And I respect your criticism. I accept your advice,” he added.
He lauded Ramos for the latter’s “sincerity and concern” for the Filipino people and for his continuous contribution to nation-building even beyond his term as president.
Duterte expressed his admiration for Ramos saying that he would emulate the former leader in ruling the country by putting the country’s interests above himself.
“But love of country, patas tayo, sir. I would say that I love my country as much as you do. And we are ready to die for this country,” he said.
The Chief Executive congratulated Ramos for the successful publication of his book noting that its release was “timely” considering the challenges the country has been facing recently.
He stressed that lasting change could not be achieved overtime and the cooperation of all sectors is important to effect genuine change.
“I hope that this book will enlighten our countrymen on how to achieve genuine transformation for the betterment of our nation, which is by working together,” he said.
“Let us therefore remember that opportunity [of] a better future for the present and the coming generations is more important than our unfounded reservations. Let us make change work for our people and country,” he added.
The book is a compilation of Ramos’ weekly columns which ran in a newspaper. Profits from the book sale will be donated to the evacuees of Marawi City .
As a token of friendship, Ramos gave a T-shirt which bore the print, “Follow Me”, to President Duterte. Ramos explained that he wore a similar shirt while training in the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning in Georgia, USA.
Among those present during the event were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea , Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, former house speaker Jose De Venecia, former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Orlando Mercado, among others. ###PND