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Duterte versus bishops, liberals and communists

Tough-talking Philippine president risks forcing together diverse critics before key poll

| Philippines
The Philippine president has shown little appetite for compromise.   © Reuters

Three years into his presidency, Rodrigo Duterte has escalated his confrontation with two forces at opposite ends of Philippine society -- the powerful Catholic Church hierarchy and the country's communist rebels.

He has directly threatened priests, ubiquitous in a largely Catholic country, while also calling for the military to "pulverize" the small bands of communist fighters who have a long-lasting low-level guerrilla campaign in the jungles of Mindanao island.

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