Manila sees demonstrations for and against Duterte

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Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital Thursday, on the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (AN photo by Elena)
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Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital Thursday, on the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (AN photo by Elena)
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Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital Thursday, on the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (AN photo by Elena)
Updated 22 September 2017

Manila sees demonstrations for and against Duterte

MANILA: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital Thursday, on the 45th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Various groups staged protests, some denouncing President Rodrigo Duterte’s demagoguery but others supporting him.
Pro- and anti-government protesters converged near Malacanang Palace in Manila, with razor wire and the Mendiola Peace Arch standing between them.
Demonstrators in front of the Mendiola Peace Arch called for an end to extrajudicial killings and tyranny, and warned against imposing martial law.
They included members of indigenous communities who came from as far as the northern and southern Philippines.
One protester told Arab News she was there to demand employment, housing and alleviation of poverty.
There were also vendors, who see rallies as an opportunity to earn more money. One of them was Diosdado, 53, who earns on average $4-$6 per day by selling potato fries.
He said although he opposes extrajudicial killings and martial law, he wants Duterte to continue as president.
From the Mendiola Peace Arch, anti-Duterte groups marched to Rizal Park, where they joined demonstrators who had staged similar protests in other parts of Metro Manila.
Activist nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan, one of the figures behind the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT), went on stage to urge Filipinos to unite.
Mananzan, who was part of the 1986 People Power Revolution that ended the Marcos’ rule, called for an end to extrajudicial killings, which the government denies carrying out. She also expressed opposition to the revival of authoritarianism.
Ironically, Duterte declared Sept. 21 a National Day of Protest. The proclamation is in solidarity with popular calls against government excesses and shortcomings, and in support of the highest standards of integrity, efficiency and accountability in government. The proclamation acknowledged freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly.


Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

Updated 2 min 14 sec ago

Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

  • Probe launched into cause of Monday’s incident as Taliban claim responsibility for shooting down jet

KABUL: Afghan security forces have so far been unable to reach the crash site of a US military aircraft which went down during a mission on Monday in a Taliban-controlled area of the country.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the Bombardier E-11A plane to crash in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, about 120 km southwest of Kabul, although the Taliban have claimed responsibility for shooting it down.

“The Taliban have mined the area, and security forces could not make it to the site to retrieve the bodies and recover the aircraft last evening. The Taliban had laid an ambush as security forces tried to reach the site,” Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni’s provincial council, told Arab News.
He added that other US aircraft had attempted to land in the area overnight but were forced back due to bad weather.
Aref Noori, a spokesman for Ghanzi’s governor, said: “Afghan and foreign forces are preparing a joint plan to go to the site to see what they can do.”
Authorities have yet to determine how many passengers and crew were on board.
Several members of the provincial council said they had heard from locals that four people on board the plane had escaped the site of the crash soon after it came down. However, the reports could not be confirmed by the US military or other officials.
The crash comes amid a push by the Taliban and US diplomats to restart peace talks which are aimed at ending the 18-year-old conflict in the country.