NDF assures relief workers of safe pass through areas hit by Pablo

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07:25 PM December 26th, 2012

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December 26th, 2012 07:25 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The National Democratic Front (NDF) has assured relief volunteers of their safety in hinterland villages devastated by typhoon “Pablo.”

This as Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris, spokesperson of the NDF, said many residents have not received relief assistance from either private or government organizations.

“They don’t have to be afraid. They are free to go there,” Madlos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone on the occasion of the CPP’s founding anniversary Wednesday.

The rebel group said it has decided to forego with their annual gathering in solidarity with those who were affected by the typhoon.

“They (relief volunteers) can be assured that no untoward incident will happen to them, provided that they won’t bring any military with them,” Madlos said, adding that they have already instructed their comrades to facilitate those who wish to go to affected villages for relief distribution.

The rebels have also declared a ceasefire during the holiday season.

“We also told our forces not to launch any tactical offensive,” Madlos said.

He said typhoon Pablo created “a crisis so great” in the affected province of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley that thousands of families have been bereft of livelihood.

“So we really need to help each other,” he said.

He said several areas in remote hinterlands have not received relief goods.

“We see helicopters dropping off relief goods, but still there are lot of affected families who were not able to receive any,” he said.

Madlos said some of their comrades sustained injuries during the onslaught of the storm, but nobody died.

He said New People’s Army members went out to help villagers, but can only do so much with their limited resources.

He said it might take some time before people in the devastated land might be able to stand on its feet again.

“It will take a lot rehabilitation and our call is that non-government organizations and media help in this too,” he said.

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