GMA SEES JOBS FOR PINOYS IN POSTWAR IRAQ

Manila, March 23, 2003  From the rubble of postwar Iraq, President Arroyo
sees jobs for at least 45,000 Filipinos in reconstruction projects.

Mrs. Arroyo also said yesterday that the Philippines will benefit from the
destruction of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) allegedly kept by Iraq.

"Ganoon kalaki ang posibleng oportunidad. Malaki ang ating unemployment. At
tutal anuman ang ating paninindigan, mangyayari naman ang mangyayari so
doon sa dalawang dahilan na iyon (WMDs and job opportunities), talagang
nasa kinabubuti ng ating national interest itong nangyaring ito," she said
during the Army's 106th foundation anniversary.

The President said the roots of the country's involvement in the US-Iraq
conflict date back to the Sept. 11, 2001 bombings in the US.

"Global political and economic security have become closely intertwined.
Separate national interests are woven into the overall fabric of
counter-terrorism," Arroyo said.

Arroyo said the global anti-terrorism coalition helped the Philippines
fight the Abu Sayyaf Group.

"One country alone cannot eliminate terrorists like the ASG, as their links
to other terrorist organizations give them financial support, arms and
materials," she said.

Arroyo said the Philippines is prepared to send medical personnel and
relief workers after the Iraq war is over.

She said overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East are still safe and
"the threats in southern Iraq are being cleared."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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