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Hundreds Protest Jailing of Top Duterte Critic

Hundreds Protest Jailing  of Top Duterte CriticHundreds Protest Jailing  of Top Duterte Critic

More than 1,000 people took to the streets of Manila on Saturday to protest Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, following the arrest of his most high-profile critic.

The protestors massed outside the national police headquarters where Senator Leila de Lima was detained on Friday, in a demonstration against the alleged death-squad murders of thousands of drug suspects, AFP reported.

Demonstrators warned the Duterte crackdown could lead to a repeat of the military-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, which was toppled in a bloodless “People Power” revolution 31 years ago to the day.

Since Duterte came to power in July last year, more than 6,500 drug suspects have been killed by police and unknown assassins, according to official tallies.

Duterte, who ranks Marcos as one of the country’s best-ever presidents, last year allowed the Marcos family to bury the former leader’s remains at Manila’s Cemetery for Heroes, leading to large street protests.

In a separate demonstration Saturday, around 150 anti-Marcos protesters chanting “Exhume him” marched on the cemetery where his body is buried, but riot police stopped them near the gate, an AFP photographer saw.

De Lima was arrested Friday on charges of drug trafficking that she described as meant to silence her.

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