RP BISHOPS BUCK U.S. WAR ON IRAQ

Manila, Jan. 29, 2003 - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines yesterday declared its opposition to any US-led war on Iraq and said the Arroyo government should not support any such action.

"A war would seriously inflict great damage on the people of Iraq. Our own economy and people would most certainly be affected," the CBCP said in a statement.

"We appeal to our own Philippine authorities not to support such a pre-emptive strike," the bishops said, adding that the United Nations, the United States and Iraq should settle the dispute peacefully.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a staunch Southeast Asian ally of the United States, has said her government was willing to extend logistical support to any US strike on Iraq, but has called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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