PINOY COPS, RELIEF WORKERS TO IRAQ NEXT WEEK

Manila, April 14, 2003 -- Filipino police and humanitarian workers are to
be deployed in Iraq next week to help rebuild the war-torn country,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today.

"As part of our work with the international community and our global
engagement, next week we shall begin sending a humanitarian and
peacekeeping contingent to Iraq," she said in a speech to police cadets in
Silang, Cavite.
"Many of its members will come from the PNP," she said, referring to the
Philippine National Police.

Ms Macapagal, whose government had offered political and moral backing for
the US-led invasion of Iraq, has pledged to send a 500-member humanitarian
team to that country including military and police peacekeepers, medical
workers and engineers.

"The end of the war in Iraq will come as a great relief. We mourn the loss
of lives and the destruction of property," the President said.

"Those of us who supported the cause have an even greater stake in ensuring
that the losses and sacrifices were not in vain. Now that the Iraqi people
have been freed from the yoke of tyranny and oppression, the world must
come together and help them enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy."

Foreign Secretary Blas Ople said last week Filipinos were expected to be
awarded some 100,000 jobs in the reconstruction of Iraq.

The jobs would be mostly in the fields of security, construction and
medical work.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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