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Rival rallies in Philippines as protesters denounce 'dictator' Duterte

Thursday saw large rallies in Manila both in support of and protest against President Duterte.

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Rival rallies in Philippines as protesters denounce 'dictator' Duterte

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The Filipino capital Manila has witnessed rival rallies both supporting and protesting against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Thousands marched to denounce his ferocious war on drugs: thousands have died since the president came to power last year promising to kill up to 100,000 traffickers and addicts.

They also complain his authoritarian rule is verging on dictatorship.

The rallies marked the 45th anniversary of military rule imposed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, which Duterte has threatened to emulate.

“We are already protesting his continued adoption of militaristic and fascist methods like the killings, the unwarranted killings of drug addicts and pushers,” said one demonstrator, Satur Ocampo, who suffered under martial law.

But away from this protest and kept apart by police, thousands turned out separately in support of the president.

Duterte won last year’s election by a big margin; supporters still see him as a champion of ordinary people.