Philippine leader's opponents turn historic event into protest march

February 25, 2017 10:27
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Political opponents of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday turned a traditional celebration of a "People Power" uprising against dictatorship three decades ago into a protest march condemning his war on drugs.

The small political opposition and left-wing activists held separate commemorative events at the historic highway where more than a million Filipinos gathered in 1986, forcing Ferdinand Marcos and his family to flee to Hawaii after a 20-year rule.Supporters of Duterte were due to hold a counter rally later on Saturday at a big Manila park, including a vigil backing the anti-drugs crackdown. Similar actions were planned in key cities across the country and in some capitals abroad.

The opposition warned of a possible return to authoritarian rule under Duterte, calling on Filipinos to stand up for truth and justice and demand a stop to the extrajudicial killings, which have claimed more than 7,700 lives in seven months.

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