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IN PHOTOS: Thousands protest martial law, killings under Duterte

Hundreds of protesters march towards a Manila park for a huge rally to call for an end to the killings in the so-called war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte and his alleged "tyrannical rule" of the country Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of protesters are marking the anniversary of the 1972 martial law declaration by late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say is the current president's authoritarian tendencies and his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of protesters marked the anniversary of the 1972 martial law declaration by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say is the current president's authoritarian tendencies and his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.
 
LIVE Updates: Day of protest
 
President Rodrigo Duterte has warned he would use force or expand nationwide his martial law declaration in the country's south if anti-government protesters threaten public order. He placed Mindanao under martial law in May to deal with a bloody siege by pro-Islamic State group militants in Marawi City that has dragged on for nearly four months.
 
Hundreds of riot police were deployed to secure the marches and rallies, which are expected to be among the largest against Duterte since he took office last year.
 
 

Hundreds of protesters gather for a rally near the Presidential Palace to call for an end to the killings in the so-called war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte and his alleged "tyrannical rule" in the country, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of protesters are marking the anniversary of the 1972 martial law declaration by late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say is the current president's authoritarian tendencies and his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

An activist holds a Duterte mask during a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte near the Malacanang palace in Manila on September 21, 2017. Activists are holding a series of protests on September 21 to denounce drug war killings and what they say is a slide to tyranny under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Noel Celis/AFP

A performance art by KMC-64 depicting a Tokhang incident. Philippine Collegian

Protesters preparing to march. EC Toledo

Protesters marching on España in Manila. Aster Beatriz Castillo

Tarps with the faces of martial law and extrajudicial killing victims are being installed at the Ateneo de Manila University fences near Gate 3. The GUIDON

Tarps with the faces of martial law and extrajudicial killing victims are being installed at the Ateneo de Manila University fences near Gate 3. The GUIDON

Church groups joined the protest on Thursday with calls to save schools of indigenous Lumads. EC Toledo

Protesters on Thursday called for an end to martial law in Mindanao and a stop to killings of indigenous Lumads. EC Toledo

Young people raising placards of quotes from speeches by President Rodrigo Duterte. EC Toledo

The stage where rallyists held a program bore the words "Duterte, Hitker, Pasista, Tuta." The latter three words are staple chants during protests. EC Toledo

Thousands of anti-Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte protesters gather at a park in Manila on September 21, 2017, to commemorate the 45th declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972 by then president Ferdinand Marcos. Activists are holding a series of protests on September 21 to denounce drug war killings and what they say is a slide to tyranny under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Ted Aljibe/AFP

 

An activist shouts slogans during a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte near the Malacanang palace in Manila on September 21, 2017. Activists are holding a series of protests on September 21 to denounce drug war killings and what they say is a slide to tyranny under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Noel Celis/AFP

Protesters burn an enormous "Rody's Cube" which was akin to a Rubik's Cube. The giant cube created by artist group Ugat Lahi interchanges the images of President Rodrigo Duterte, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Adolf Hitler and a puppy. The latter images are part of the chant "Marcos, Hitler, diktador, tuta," which is a staple at protests. EC Toledo

Activists burn an effigy during a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte near the Malacanang palace in Manila on September 21, 2017. Activists are holding a series of protests on September 21 to denounce drug war killings and what they say is a slide to tyranny under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Noel Celis/AFP

 
 
 
Pro-Duterte followers also staged rallies in Manila and police said they would guard against possible confrontations.
 

Pro-Duterte groups from Caloocan aboard a bus. EC Toledo

 
 
Marcos' martial law era, which ended in 1981, had been marked by massive human rights violations and muzzling of civil liberties.
 
According to left-wing group Karapatan, "Duterte and his security cluster have utilized narratives and tactics straight out of Marcos's playbook of repression, repeating and justifying rights violations, with increasing frequency and intensity.
 
Known for bombastic remarks, Duterte has said activists can stage street protests without government permits, and that even communist guerrillas can join as long as they don't bring their guns. He said he was also ready to turn in his resignation to Congress anytime if the military agrees.
 
Waving red flags and carrying placards that read "Stop the Killings," left-wing groups started to mass up in three Manila areas, including at the foot of a bridge leading to the presidential palace.  
 
A few thousand marched at a university area, yelling "Never again, never again to martial law."
 
 
They planned to gather later Friday at Luneta for the main protest. Rallies at the nearby US Embassy have been prohibited by police.
 
Another group of protesters was to stage a separate rally at the Commission on Human Rights, which has been repeatedly denounced by Duterte for raising an alarm over his police-led campaign against illegal drugs that has left thousands of suspects dead. — with AP
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