Thousands of pro-democracy activists marked the anniversary of the 1986 revolt that ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a warning against what they say are the incumbent president’s dictatorial tendencies.

The activists gathered Saturday at the “persons energy” revolt shrine along the main highway in metropolitan Manila, where millions of Filipinos converged 31 years ago in a largely peaceful uprising to oust Marcos. A significantly bigger rally in assistance of President Rodrigo Duterte and his crackdown on illegal drugs was held at Manila’s Rizal Park, where police estimated the crowd to have surpassed extra than 200,000. Numerous of the demonstrators arrived in buses and jeeps with local officials.

“This is proof of the real ‘people energy,'” Communications Secretary Andanar told the crowd.

The army-backed 1986 revolt ended a presidency marked by massive corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations.

Duterte’s administration commemorated the anniversary austerely in the main military camp Friday near the “people energy” shrine. The event was not attended by Duterte, who permitted Marcos to be buried in a heroes’ cemetery in November, sparking an outcry from pro-democracy groups.

Reacting to criticism that the government rites reflected Duterte’s cordial attitude toward the Marcoses, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella mentioned the dictator “is not that iconic in the mind of the president.”

“I consider it is too considerably to say that he is the new Macoy,” Abella mentioned, utilizing a shortened reference to Marcos.

The protesters condemned the thousands of killings of largely poor drug suspects in a brutal crackdown Duterte ordered shortly just after he took workplace in June and other policy adjustments, which includes his get in touch with for the re-imposition of the death penalty, preferably by public hanging.

Duterte, whose father served in Marcos’ Cabinet, allowed the burial on grounds that there was no law barring his interment at the Heroes’ Cemetery, exactly where presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists are buried. It was a political danger in a country exactly where democracy advocates nonetheless celebrate Marcos’ ouster each and every year.

“The pile of bodies in the Duterte government’s war on drugs, arrests and killings of political activists, renewed push for death penalty, and militarization of communities affecting girls and kids is practically nothing but a U-turn to complete-blown fascism,” left-wing Rep. Emmi De Jesus said.

Duterte, who rose to the presidency by tapping on public exasperation with crime and corruption, has mentioned it is in his power to spot the nation beneath martial rule to deal with contingencies. But he denied in other speeches that he would, making confusion and unease.

A different group, named Block Marcos, warned that Duterte may possibly already be starting to curtail civil liberties.

“One particular popular parallelism that we see amongst Duterte and Marcos is the silencing of dissent,” said the group’s spokesman, Milky Babilonia. “Anytime you oppose them, you will be labeled as yellows … as supporter of narco-politics and drugs,” he stated, referring to the color related with opposition groups.

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