Duterte critics, supporters clash along EDSA

MANILA, Philippines – Critics and supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte clashed along the iconic highway EDSA as the Philippines marked the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Saturday, February 25.

A scuffle erupted after around 7 Duterte supporters arrived at a rally of thousands of Duterte critics near the People Power Monument along EDSA corner White Plains Avenue, Quezon City. 

The rally was scheduled at around 4 pm to oppose the killings of more than 7,000 people in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, among other things. (READ: Aquino on EDSA 31: 'Hindi pa tapos ang laban')

The 7 Duterte supporters reached the venue of the rally around 5 minutes after it began at 4:30 pm on Saturday. With 3 of them wearing the traditional Filipino barong, they raised their fist in trademark Duterte fashion.

Singer Jim Paredes, one of Duterte's most prominent critics, berated the Duterte supporters.

Paredes dared one of the Duterte supporters: "Look at me! Look at me! You can't even look. Duwag (Coward)."

He continued, "Tell me: Gusto mo ba si Duterte? (Do you like Duterte?)"

"Of course," the Duterte supporter said.

Paredes responded, "He's not responsible for 7,000 deaths?" 

"It's still being investigated," the supporter said.

Paredes then laughed in a mocking way: "Okay, great. Lie to yourself!"

At some point, the Duterte Youth members left the site. They were told to go to Luneta where thousands of Duterte supporters had gathered. They asked for their banner to be returned but it was nowhere to be found.

The clash ended the way EDSA is often remembered: One of Duterte's critics gave flowers to one of Duterte's supporters. – with reports from LeAnne Jazul/Rappler.com