MEDIA STATEMENT IRAQ SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN 15 July 2004
For insisting that gov¹t Ocredibility¹ is more important than a Filipino¹s life: FVR, Golez, Drilon et al win free one-way tickets to Iraq
The Iraq Solidarity Campaign is paying tribute to various personalities who insist that the Filipino troops should remain in Iraq by awarding them free one-way first class tickets to Baghdad.
Today, the ISC hopes to personally award one of the prizes to President Fidel V. Ramos in his office at the Export and Import Bank along Gil Puyat Avenue corner Chino Roces Avenue.
Among other winners of the free tickets to Iraq include former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Manuel Villar, the editorial writer of the Manila Times, and former Philippine ambassador to Iraq Reynaldo Parungao.
These are just some of the people who have called on the Arroyo administration not to pull out the Filipino troops in Iraq even if this will mean certain death for Angelo dela Cruz because doing so would supposedly tarnish the credibility of the Philippine government.
The Iraqi Solidarity Campaign has decided to raise funds for the tickets in order to give these Filipinos a chance to prove their concern for the Philippine government¹s reputation.
³If they really care about the Philippine¹s standing in the world, and if they believe that the government should not cave in to the captors¹ demands, then they should go to Iraq, look for the hostage-takers and offer themselves as replacement for Angelo dela Cruz,² Corazon Fabros of Gathering for Peace, an ISC member-organization said.
³Once they¹re in Iraq, they can then plead with the Arroyo government not to give in to their captors¹ demands not to withdraw the Filipino troops,² Fabros said. ³We at Iraq Solidarity Campaign simply want to give them the opportunity to enhance their credibility.²
The ISC¹s messenger will personally hand-carry the confirmed booking certificate, itinerary, and ticket to the office of the former President. Well-wishers will also be on hand to wish Ramos a safe and eventful trip.
Once in Iraq, the former President will have the opportunity to see for himself the products of his employer, the Carlyle Corporation, in action. Carlyle is the controversial defense contractor and armaments maker which has sold some of the war equipment and supplies being used in Iraq. Along with former President George W. Bush, Ramos served as one of its advisers. It counts among its former investors the bin Laden family.
The Iraq Solidarity Campaign is offering more free tickets to Iraq to anyone who can successfully argue that the Philippines will lose its credibility before the world especially before the United States if it pulls out its troops from Iraq. Special prizes will be awarded to those who can convincingly persuade Filipinos into believing that it is the pulling out of troops and not the Philippine government¹s support for the US-led occupation of Iraq that is exposing Filipinos to retaliation.
Included in the prize package is a free complimentary tour of the Abu Ghraib prison, site of the infamous prison scandal in which US soldiers abused Iraqi detainees and took pictures for souvenir.
Mr Ramos will likewise be advised to bring home the memories.#
=============== Iraq Solidarity Campaign Letter to FVR et al 15 July 2003
Former President Fidel Valdez Ramos Former Adviser Carlyle Group Asia Advisory Board
We are very pleased to inform you that you have just won a free one-way first class ticket to Baghdad!
You won the award after you publicly called on the Arroyo government not to withdraw the troops in Iraq even if this could mean death for Angelo dela Cruz just so that the Philippine government would not lose face in the world.
The Iraq Solidarity Campaign (ISC) is going to shoulder the cost of your travel because we are impressed by the logic of your argument. We believe, however, that you would have far greater credibility when you press your case if you are in Iraq and we wanted to give you that opportunity.
Please find attached your booking certificate and your itinerary together with your ticket. Our staff will be in touch with you for more details on your arrangements. Well-wishers will be outside your office to wish you a safe and eventful trip today.
While the ISC will shoulder your plane ticket, we believe you have more than enough pocket money from your stint as adviser to the multi-billion dollar defense contractor Carlyle Corporation, the products of which you will see first-hand in Iraq. Thank you very much and we hope you enjoy your reward.
Iraq Solidarity Campaign
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on July 17th, 2004