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Compromise reached on typhoon food aid

Peace comes after violent clashes

Jef Tupas, Davao City
Philippines

February 28, 2013

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Authorities and protesters in the southern city of Davao reached a peaceful settlement on Thursday, ending a violent three-day standoff over the late delivery of relief supplies to Typhoon Bopha survivors.

Following five hours of negotiations, the department of social welfare agreed to initially supply 100 sacks of rice to the victims of the typhoon which struck in December.

Protesters claimed victory on Thursday after authorities promised to deliver the remaining aid –nearly 10,000 sacks of rice and other food supplies – once claims have been verified by both sides.

Police also agreed not to file charges after the protesters looted rice, noodles and other food supplies from Davao's social welfare office on Tuesday.

“Everything was worth it. We are now assured of food to eat. We can go home,” said protester Judilyn Lopes, a resident of Nabunturan in Compostela Valley, one of the provinces worst hit by Bopha.

A dozen people were injured on Tuesday and Wednesday after police seized back the supplies as the dispute turned violent.

Ariel Casilao, the national executive vice-president of Bayan Muna, a party that supports the working poor, said the government still had to deliver the bulk of the supplies it had promised.

“Only then will we be convinced that they are sincere,” he said.

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