Ramon Mitra Jr.

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Ramon Mitra Jr. with Raul Daza, Hernando Perez, Albertito Lopez and Lorna Verano-Yap

Ramon V. Mitra, Jr. (born February 4, 1928: Puerto Princesa, Palawan-died March 20, 2000: Makati City), was a prominent politician and a pro-democracy activist of the Philippines.

Early Life and Education

Mitra was born in Puerto Princesa to Ramon P. Mitra and Purification Villarosa. He attended a public school for elementary education and took his secondary school in San Beda College, Manila. He finished his Liberal Arts degree in Baguio City and obtained his Bachelor of Laws in San Beda.

Career

Mitra was appointed Philippine Foreign Service Officer at Washington, D.C. and to the United Nations from 1954 to 1961, then in 1961 he was special assistant to the Office of the President. He became a senior technical assistant to the Office of the Mayor of Manila from 1962 up to 1965.

Mitra was elected congressman representing Palawan for two terms from 1965 up to 1973 and resigned during midterm and was elected senator in 1971, only to find his term cut short by Martial Law. During the imposition of martial law, Mitra was imprisoned along with other opposition figures. He gained his release in the early 1980s and was elected as assemblyman to the Regular Batasang Pambansa in 1984. After the EDSA revolution in 1986, Mitra was appointed as Department of Agriculture Secretary. After the restoration of the House of Representatives he ran as congressman representing the second district of Palawan. He was eventually elected as Speaker of the House at its inaugural session.

In 1991, Mitra, who was also the party president of the LDP Party was selected in a party convention as the candidate for the presidency out beating Department of National Defense secretary Fidel Ramos. Ramos bolted the party and formed his own—the Lakas Tao Party. Mitra's bid was difficult because he was branded as a traditional politician and suffered many controversies including the use of the congressional printing press for his election materials. These issues brought Mitra's defeat in the 1992 elections and brought Fidel Ramos to the presidency.

In 1995, he agreed to form a coalition with Fidel Ramos and formed the Lakas-Laban coalition. In the 1995 elections, he ran for senator but lost. In the 1998 elections, he returned to the political spotlight as a key supporter of Joseph Estrada's successful presidential campaign. Estrada rewarded Mitra by naming him president of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Corporation.

Personal Life

Monching, as many call him, was married to Cecilia Aldeguer Blanco with whom he had six children. One of his children, Abraham Kahlil served as congressman representing the second district of Palawan.

He had a lifelong involvement with cattle. He was Chairman of the Farm Management Enterprises Corporation which owned and operated cattle ranches and breeders of gamecocks and thoroughbred horses.

Mitra died at the Makati Medical Center from liver cancer. One of his last requests was to be buried in Palawan and to have a very simple funeral rites unlike his predecessors in the House. A building was named after him serving as the West wing in the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.

References

https://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/former_senators/ramon_mitra.htm “Ramon V. Mitra, Jr.”. Senate of the Philippines. July 9, 2020

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ramon-Mitra “Ramon Mitra”. Britannica. July 9, 2020

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Speaker_Ramon_Mitra.jpg Wikimedia Commons/IRRI Images

Categories

Filipino politicians

Senators of the Philippines

Philippine presidential candidates

Speakers of the Philippine House of Representatives

Representatives