Activists march to Mendiola, near the Malacanang palace, during a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on September 21, 2017. / AFP / NOEL CELIS
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Left-wing activists and political opponents of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte held rallies on Thursday to warn against what they see as the emergence of a dictatorship under the no-nonsense but hugely popular leader.Politicians, indigenous people, church leaders, businessmen, and leftists marched, staged rallies and attended masses to denounce Duterte, accusing him of abuses and authoritarianism similar to that of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.The events were to mark the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law under Marcos, which lasted nine years and is remembered by many Filipinos as brutal and oppressive.Marcos declared martial law in 1972, a year ahead of elections in which he was ineligible to run, and held power for 14 years until his removal in a bloodless, army-backed "people's power" uprising.
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