close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

RP contingent withdraws from Iraq

Discussion in 'Band of Glockers' started by PMMA97, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. PMMA97

    PMMA97 TagaBundok

    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Washington as well as other members of the "coalition of the willing" are dismayed and the Philippines is under the looking glass.What are your thoughts gentlemen?
     
  2. bulm540

    bulm540

    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    it sucks, we should have stayed but I guess GMA bowed to popular demands from all sectors.
     

  3. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    almost home
    GMA is the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and supposedly answers to the sovereign will of the Filipino people.

    Her call to make, and she made it.
    The 'coalition' ought to be grateful for the time we DID spend out there, pounding sand. In any case, what's the withdrawal going to hurt logistically and tactically? The official contingent was never more than a hundred, medical volunteers and policemen-trainors included!

    We were scheduled to pull out completely by August 20 anyway.
    Sheesh.
    The original pullout plans (IIRC) involved a somewhat gradual reduction in force beginning in mid-late July, so 8 contingent members rotating out of Iraq isn't unexpected.

    The Philippine government is walking a tightrope, trying to sell its long-planned gradual pullout as a concession to the abductors and anti-war Filipinos, while quietly (correctly) pointing out to coalition members that hey, this IS the scheduled pullout, as planned.

    The 3,500 documented Filipino workers in Iraq, plus the 2-5,000 undocumented ones --- those are the Filipinos that the coalition probably cannot do without, and it looks like they're mostly staying.
     
  4. GLockCowboy

    GLockCowboy

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    I am Here
  5. Valor1

    Valor1 Range Bum

    Messages:
    932
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Urban areas
    Good point Horge. It's a hard and unpopular decision to make but it has to be made.
     
  6. bulm540

    bulm540

    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    Sheesh, wouldn't this set a precedence???
     
  7. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    almost home
    Yes, it sets a dangerous precedent, because perception counts.
    The government is, as I said, walking a tightrope.

    I earlier focused on the FACT of our participation, and how it should be appreciated...
    but it's quite valid to point out that it isn't really the FACT of the Philippine contingent's presence that counts the most. Given its miniscule size, it is perhaps more the IDEA of its presence that is important. Thus, the mere appearance of partly caving in to the terrorist's demands defeats much of the entire exercise and sacrifice of having participated in the coalition from the start.

    By 'caving in',

    this government will have wasted the efforts of its miltary-police contingent to Iraq;

    this government will have pissed on the memory of Filipino and U.S. soldiers who died fighting the Abu Sayyaf,
    when WE asked for U.S. help with OUR local terrorist problem,

    this government will have ignored the 80% popular mandate to participate in the coalition in the first place;

    this government will have shouted out to all terrorists,
    "hey, if there's anything else you want us to do, take another Filipino hostage!";

    this government will have soiled our country's word and honor.



    How the heck does one weigh all that against maybe saving one life?
    de la Cruz had better be one hell of an upright, productive citizen
    when and if he gets home safely, because his return will have been
    bought at the price of a nation's honor, dignity and the safety of many other people.

    In the end, it was GMA's call to make. A very tough call.
    A call to be made according to the best interests of the country,
    before any consideration is given to foreign friends and neighbors.
    Her call.
    I'm just hoping we don't regret what might turn out to be her mistake.
     
  8. deenoh

    deenoh

    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Philippines
    Horge,

    I agree with you 100%. GMA shouldnt have given into the demands even if it meant that her opponents here would use that to mobilize the people against her. Maybe the decision to give in was motivated by the fact that she wants to protect her behind here in the Philippines from the militant groups that are already causing several disturbances in the Metro. Sometimes the sacrifice of the few outweighs the good of the many. While I am not a supporter of Erap, I cant help but wonder what would have happened if it were his call. I bet he'd tell those terrorist to go to hell. He had his faults but he did have the balls to do the job.
     
  9. antediluvianist

    antediluvianist

    Messages:
    1,679
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    planet earth
    I work with a company that had OFWs in Kuwait when the US-led "coalition" was about to invade Iraq from there, 2 years ago. Everybody anticipated that Iraq would fire poison-gas-containing missiles into Kuwait in retaliation. We gave our employees in Kuwait the option to come back to the Philippines. They ALL said - "hell no, hanap buhay 'to, ah." Just like the BusinessWorld article (today's issue) below.

    I agree with Horge that what the hell one month early return of our extremely token force over there is no big deal so if it will save a Filipino's life, well it's not a ridiculous thing to do and it's GMA's call.A lot of local political considerations there too. Worst thing is we recall the troops, and they still kill him.

    If they capture more of our OFWs in the future, well by that time we won't have any more of our token force left there, so those OFWs will be in deep trouble as surely the RP won't be able to prevail on any other country or Iraq to release any terrorists in prisons. There won't be any bargaining chipin the future. Angelo is lucky we still have those few people over there to bring back as payment for his release, if in fact they don't kill him anyway.

    MANILA, PHILIPPINES | Thursday, July 15, 2004

    RP workers would rather die in Iraq than starve at home
    By JASON GUTIERREZ, AFP

    Clutching a bag of used clothes, Edgardo Lumapas scampers under a makeshift tent outside a Manila recruitment agency promising jobs in Iraq despite a government deployment ban after the kidnapping of a Filipino truck driver.

    The 42-year-old father of five has been lining up daily for the past two months outside the Anglo-European Services recruitment agency, hoping for a job interview and a chance to earn up to $600 a month as a forklift operator in Iraq.

    Like millions of others, Mr. Lumapas says his family's chance of survival rests on his being able to work abroad. Armed with PhP4,000 in pocket money he borrowed from friends, he left his family in Leyte in May for Manila.

    "We'd rather die in Iraq while earning than die of hunger here in the Philippines," Mr. Lumapas said, speaking on behalf of hundreds of fellow job seekers huddled under a canvas canopy made from a huge poster of US President George W. Bush and his Philippine counterpart Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    If Mr. Lumapas gets lucky, he will join the estimated seven million Filipino workers scattered all over the world whose dollar remittances keep the economy afloat.

    'NEW HEROES'

    The government hails them as "new generation heroes" sending home, according to the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, an estimated $7.6 billion in 2003 alone, equivalent to 7.5% of the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP).

    But these overseas Filipino workers also risk their lives daily working in environments that offer them little protection.

    Many of the laborers are employed as construction workers and drivers in the Middle East, while others work as domestic helpers and entertainers in Asia and seaman in ships on all the oceans.

    The danger has been magnified by the abduction this month of truck driver Angelo de la Cruz by Iraqi militants demanding the pullout of Filipino troops from the war-ravaged country.

    The father of eight is threatened with beheading by the militants and has become a symbolic figure for the millions of overseas Filipinos.

    Mr. De la Cruz was originally based in Saudi Arabia, but was lured into driving a truckload of crude oil into Iraq with promises of a threefold boost in his wages.

    The kidnapping has forced government to impose a travel ban to Iraq, where there are more than 3,000 Filipinos working mostly in US military installations.

    Yet, as the country anxiously awaits his fate, thousands continue to line up outside the Anglo-European Services offices. The queue stretches for about two blocks, rendering the narrow city roads impassable to vehicular traffic.

    Many of them come from faraway provinces, sleeping on pavements for days on end with only the neon light of a convenience store providing security at night.

    A volunteer with a megaphone barks out the names of those who passed the initial screening amid joyful hoots of those who made it and heart-wrenching cries from those who failed.

    "My head and stomach are hurting from hunger, but I still have to wait here and wait for my turn," says Erlinda Quillana, a 46-year-old mother of six.

    "I have been here for five days and I need to be interviewed. I need to desperately get out of the Philippines because there are no jobs here," Ms. Quillana said, her eyes welling with tears.

    A former street vendor, Ms. Quillana is hoping to be hired as a laundry woman in Iraq and be able to send her children to school and earn enough to buy medicine for her cancer-stricken husband.

    "This is our only chance for our status in life to change," she said. "I am willing to risk it there."

    LEGAL CHANNELS

    Rosalinda Baldoz, administrator of the government's Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, says the De la Cruz episode could temporarily derail deployments to the Middle East. However, she said the Philippines exports labor to over 180 other countries.

    Ms. Baldoz said all overseas workers are adequately protected if they leave through legal channels, but once they are on the ground they have the liberty to enter into new contracts with other employers.

    The exodus of workers will continue "until there is enough and adequate jobs locally that they can apply for," she said. "But if they can't, there is always overseas employment."

    Founded in the 1960s, the Anglo-European Services pioneered the trade of deploying Filipino workers abroad. It won the contract to supply "camp support services" for US military installations in Iraq.

    Its president, Lucas Arcilla, says the government ban could encourage others to go through illegal channels to leave. And if that happens, there could be more Filipinos ending up in the hands of Iraqi militants.

    Besides, he said, it's better for these Filipinos to be productive workers overseas than join the ranks of the more than five million unemployed in the country.

    "Every morning, when I come here, I see a sign of desperation from these people. But every time they are called for an interview, I see a ray of hope growing in them," Mr. Arcilla said.
     
  10. doctabako

    doctabako Gun Aficionado

    Messages:
    1,164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Philippines
    That's why its no joke being the country's president. Right or wrong the choice had to be made and I hope she made the right call. Wonder how her opponents in the last presidential derby would react when faced with the same predicament had they won.;Q
     
  11. kerwin

    kerwin

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Location:
    CDOC, Philippines
    Okay, pulling out might save the captive's life, but i sure hope we have a stronger alibi than that. The terrorist in Iraq are very much like the Abu Sayyaf, and i am afraid that it will set a precedent for the Abu's. If it works in Iraq, it might work in the Philippines, and they can always kidnap Government workers in Basilan and demand that the Marines leave the island or heads will roll and we can all watch it on ABS CBN.

    Islamic terrorism will worsen not only in Iraq but also in the Southern Philippines and we might as well stand firm against terrorists wherever they are.

    I pity Mr. Dela Cruz and his family, and i can only hope that he will be the last filipino captive in Iraq.
     
  12. jmy

    jmy Still Alive Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Location:
    HERE,THERE,and EVERYWHERE
    GMA should have ofered her husband in exchange for Angelo De La Cruz.Then,if ever Jose P. gets beheaded,we shall be hitting 2 birds with 1 stone.

    jmy
     
  13. kerwin

    kerwin

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Location:
    CDOC, Philippines
  14. New_comer

    New_comer

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Location:
    Manila, Philippines
    What if GMA opted to send the 50 or so medical and peacekeeping mission to Kabul instead...

    Out of Iraq, into Afganistan. I still believe suffering in that part of the world, where the US is still fighting the battle against terrorism, is worse than Baghdad. Our troops/medics can do a lot of good there still.

    RP saves face, and ADC's life at the same time. We'll still be within the 'coalition of the willing', and further validate our continued representation in the Security Council...

    Just my 2 centavos...
     
  15. bulm540

    bulm540

    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    One thing I can say bye bye Hueys....U.S. will probably delay if not cancel delivery of much needed Helos to us and other military aid.
     
  16. bulm540

    bulm540

    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    All the afghan insurgents will do is Kidnap one of them and demand withdrawal....you know the answer to that ( told you it is a bad precedent).
     
  17. rhino465

    rhino465

    Messages:
    1,472
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    I'm pretty much an outsider here, but conceding to demands of terrorists is always an enormous mistake. I am sympathetic to the hostage and his family, but even the appearance of caving to the threats will make a bad situation worse. I agree 100% with the preceding messages that this is likely to exacerbate the problems with Abu Sayef (which has strong, documented ties to Al Qaida)and obviously with the miscreants operating in SW Asia.

    I am somewhat surprised by the decision (even though it's just a matter of a few weeks' difference). Perhaps things have changed significantly on the political front, but I would have expected more the opposite reaction.

    Does the RoP have the resources to send any significant military elements even for a short period of time? In my opinion, when some subhuman beasts threaten the life of a comrade, the appropriate response to send as many pi**ed-off soldiers and marines as is logistically possible to go and kill the hell out of them with extreme prejudice. You can't negotiate with terrorists because they do not come to the "table" in good faith. They just want to know how far they push and the only effective solution is to eliminate the threat. Of course, with so many innocent lives being used as shields, that's often easier said than done.

    I do not envy those who have to make such decisions. It's tough.
     
  18. rhino465

    rhino465

    Messages:
    1,472
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana, USA

    Yeah ... once one of them has proven they can make you their "bi***," the rest will do likewise. It's like playground mentality, but with higher stakes.

    I don't like seeing the word "insurgent" used, though, or "rebel" or anything else that lends even a sliver of credibility to these scum. If they were genuine rebels, they would have been fighting against the gov't long before this current mess occurred. They are terrorists at best. I will also acknowledge the following labels as appropriate:

    subhuman scum
    cowards
    criminals
    murderers
    jackals
    cowardly subhuman jackal scum


    ;f
     
  19. attyjpl

    attyjpl Dark Justice

    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Order in the Court!!
    kung si FPJ ang nanalo at hindi si ate glo, ano kaya ang gagawin ni da king sa isyung ito?? ;g

    maling desisyon para kay ate glo, yan ang masasabi ko. hindi ba nya natutunan, sa narating nyang mataas na pinag-aralan, na mas mabuti pang isakripisyo ang isa kesa ang nakararami??

    bad call, indeed.
     
  20. CarlosDJackal

    CarlosDJackal

    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000