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Aquino Warns Filipinos About the Incoming President

  • VOA News

Philippines' president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference in Davao on May 31, 2016.

Philippines' president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference in Davao on May 31, 2016.

The Philippines outgoing president has cautioned his fellow citizens to be avid about defending their freedoms and democracy as a new hardline president is set to take office.

Benigno Aquino, speaking Sunday on the 118th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule, warned President-elect Rodrigo Duterte could take an authoritarian path reminiscent of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' 20-year rule.

Aquino said Marcos had deprived Filipinos of their freedoms and warned "if we are not vigilant, this can happen again." Then, using a quote usually attributed to British statesman Edmund Burke, Aquino said "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Duterte has promised to kill thousands of criminals and has said he will offer a bounty to police and civilians who kill drug dealers.

Rights groups have accused him of overseeing death squads that killed more than 1,100 people during his time as mayor of Davao.

Duterte has drawn scorn over boasts about his sexual escapades and vulgar comments about women. He said during the campaign that he wished he had been first in line in the gang rape of an Australian missionary killed during a Davao jail riot in 1989.

Aquino has compared Duterte to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Duterte takes office on June 30.

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