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Tough-talking president takes office

A harsh-spoken man known for ruthlessly enforcing laws at the city level took office as president of the Philippines Thursday with pledges to get just…

A harsh-spoken man known for ruthlessly enforcing laws at the city level took office as president of the Philippines Thursday with pledges to get just as tough on crime nationally.  But there are hopes he will pursue a broader agenda as head of state.
Rodrigo Duterte, former mayor of the second largest Philippine city, Davao, was inaugurated after beating four other candidates in last month’s election with 39 percent of the vote. The 71-year-old outsider to national politics was elected largely because of his record for cutting crime in Davao. His city was once a drug sales hub and a base for a violent leftist rebel group.
Duterte pledged in his inauguration speech in Manila to rout corruption and drugs. Using his characteristically sharp language, he also took on the widespread suspicion that he had deployed death squads to enforce order in Davao.

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