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Duterte's ambitious plans have hit some stumbling blocks

Martial law, shaky investor confidence could stall economic performance

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte salutes an honor guard at Ninoy Aquino International Airport south of Manila on May 24.   © Reuters

MANILA More than a little out of character, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the country's normally outspoken leader, found himself on June 20 begging for forgiveness from people displaced by one of the country's worst terror attacks.

"Soon, I hope you will find a new heart to forgive my soldiers, the government and me for declaring martial law," Duterte told relatives of some 170 families at an evacuation center in Iligan, a city about 40km north of Marawi, ground zero of a monthlong battle between government troops and Islamic State-aligned militants. "I had no choice, Marawi was being destroyed. I have to drive them out."

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