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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Protesters in Manila demand Duterte deliver on promises - in pictures

In his speech on Monday he vowed to press on with his controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives, as he outlined his vision of an "eye-for-an-eye" justice system.

Waving red flags, several thousand left-wing protesters have marched with an effigy of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte to the House of Representatives to demand he deliver on promises made in his first state of the nation speech last year, from holding peace talks with communist insurgents to improving internet speed.

Riot police, without batons and shields to underscore a policy of maximum tolerance toward demonstrators, separated the protesters from a smaller group of Duterte supporters outside the heavily guarded building, where Mr Duterte delivered this year's state of the nation speech on Monday.

Inside the hall, left-wing legislators sought ingenious ways to protest. Rep Emmie de Jesus, who represents the Gabriela women's party-list group, wore native clothes with beadwork reading "Regular Jobs Now," a criticism of contractual work without benefits.

Another lawmaker, Arlene Brosas, wore a black dress with a hand-painted message by a former political prisoner saying "No to Martial Law."

Mr Duterte won congressional approval on Saturday for an extension of martial law in the south to deal with the siege of Marawi city by pro-ISIL militants, the worst crisis he has faced since taking power last year.

In his speech on Monday he vowed to press on with his controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives, as he outlined his vision of an "eye-for-an-eye" justice system.

"No matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue because that is the root cause of so much evil and so much suffering," Mr Duterte told lawmakers from both houses of Congress.

* Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

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