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Riots break out in Philippines over Iraq

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Riots break out in Philippines over Iraq

Old 08-27-04, 06:37 PM
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Riots break out in Philippines over Iraq

Filipinos Protest to Seek Work in Iraq
The Associated Press
Friday, August 27, 2004; 10:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Riot police used water cannons Friday to disperse protesters demanding that the Philippines lift its ban on allowing its citizens to go to war-ravaged Iraq for jobs.

The protesters marched to the presidential palace to urge President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to let them leave for Iraq, where they said U.S. military contracts await them.

"Your concern for us is highly appreciated but we need cash," one placard read. "Please allow us to work in Iraq," said another.

Riot police and rolls of barbed wire blocked more than 200 protesters at the foot of a bridge leading to the palace, where they sat down, linked arms, and sang religious songs, vowing to stay there until the ban is lifted.

But after several hours, riot police trained water cannons on them and pulled demonstrators from the crowd one by one. The workers tried to stay in place by huddling close to each other, but the strong pressure of water from the fire hoses forced them to disperse.

"Most of us are going hungry here. If they can give us jobs here, then its OK, but they can't," said Danny Baloloy, a plumber who said a job that pays $650 a month awaits him at a U.S. base in Iraq.

The ban was imposed last month after a Filipino truck driver, Angelo dela Cruz, was abducted by Iraqi insurgents. He was freed after Manila pulled out its troops ahead of schedule, as demanded by the kidnappers.

About 3,000 Filipinos seeking jobs in Iraq last week also protested against the ban, saying they would rather risk their lives than face joblessness and hunger at home.

Some 4,000 Filipinos currently work in U.S. military camps throughout Iraq. The ban does not apply to them.

Old 08-27-04, 06:44 PM
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The country is so poor, you just feel sorry for them.
Old 08-27-04, 07:16 PM
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poor and corrupt... richer gets richer, poor gets poorer
Old 08-27-04, 07:33 PM
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They should have never kicked out the U.S. Military in the 90's and all of our $Millions of Dollars. And that doesn't even include what the soldiers spent over there.

Old 08-27-04, 08:28 PM
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Just come to the US. We have tons of jobs here.

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