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Last of Philippine Troops Left Iraq...

...they are leaving Iraq behind them, along with their credibility.

Philippines completes Iraq retreat
Last soldiers leave a day before deadline
Carlos H. Conde/IHT Monday, July 19, 2004
MANILA The Philippines completed its pullout from Iraq on Monday in an effort to save the life of a Filipino hostage, beating the Tuesday deadline set by Iraqi insurgents who abducted him almost two weeks ago.

Officials said the remaining 40 Filipino troops in Iraq flew to Kuwait on Monday and would be home within the week.

Their commander and 10 of his troops arrived here early Monday.

The pullout, ordered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, disappointed the countries that supported the U.S. occupation of Iraq but offered relief to millions of Filipinos concerned about the life of a truck driver who, like millions of other Filipinos like him, toil in other countries to support their families back home.

The United States and its allies had said that Manila's decision was a mistake because it would only embolden the insurgents...

This is why kidnapping operations conducted by Filipino Muslim Rebels are both lucrative and politically effective in the Philippines...

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