Did domestic considerations lead to the Philippines pull-out from Iraq? Read:
Hostage Angelo de la Cruz, a driver, is only one among millions of his countrymen toiling overseas to keep their families, as well as the Philippine economy, afloat.
So crucial is the contribution that these workers make to the economy that they have been hailed as the ‘new heroes’ and described as a ‘pillar of the Philippines’ foreign policy’.
Their clout was evident in President Gloria Arroyo’s decision on Wednesday to bow to the demands of Mr de la Cruz’s kidnappers and pull troops out of Iraq early despite the risk of straining relations with the United States.
Political analyst Gladstone Cuarteros said Mrs Arroyo’s decision was ‘a recognition of the political clout of overseas workers. There would have been a major political backlash against her government because so many families depend on a relative working abroad’.
Now let me ask Mr. Cuarteros a question. Does the fact that the Arroyo caved into the terrorist’s/kidnapper’s demands make it more or less likely that Philippino workers will be kidnapped in the future?