The Straits Times
Published on Dec 10, 2012

Philippines, leftist rebels declare truces in disaster areas


DAVAO CITY, Philippines (REUTERS) - The Philippine government and Maoist rebels have declared truces in two southern provinces devastated by a typhoon last week as the army concentrates on relief and many rebels recover from the disaster, a commander said on Monday.

Typhoon Bopha killed 647 people and caused crop damage worth 8.5 billion pesos (S$254 million).

The most intense storm to hit the Philippines this year wiped out about 90 per cent of three coastal towns in Davao Oriental province and buried an entire town in neighbouring Compostela Valley province under mud.

Communist New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas are active in those two worst-hit provinces, which are on Mindano island.