Muslim rebels opposed to peace talks with the Philippine government released nine teachers and four village officials Tuesday a day after taking hostages in an attack on a southern town that killed 10 people, including a civilian who was decapitated, officials said.
Philippine forces have killed or captured nearly 100 of the Muslim guerrillas who have held scores of hostages for a week in a southern city, as the government pushes ahead with an offensive to retake rebel-held coastal communities, officials said Sunday.
Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains that submerged more than half the capital began receding Tuesday, but authorities evacuated thousands of residents along Manila's overflowing rivers and braced for more chaos in outlying provinces.
Torrential rains brought the Philippine capital to a standstill Monday, making streets impassable to vehicles. Many areas of the country were submerged in waist-deep floodwaters following a night of heavy rains.
A powerful typhoon made landfall in the northern Philippines on Monday, toppling power lines and dumping heavy rains across mountains, cities and food-growing plains and leaving at least 23 fishermen missing.
The Philippine envoy to Taiwan on Friday advised thousands of Filipino workers there to eat at home and avoid the streets while emotions run high on the island over the shooting death of a fisherman by the Philippine coast guard.
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 10,000 kilograms of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.