Protesters clashed with riot police during a torrential downpour as they tried to breach a barricade of barbed wire and shipping containers near the House of Representatives before Benigno Aquino III's final state of the nation address.

Philippines Aquino protest
Erik de Castro/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Erik de Castro/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Erik de Castro/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Police look out from their riot shields as they stop protesters trying to march towards the House of RepresentativesErik de Castro/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Ted Aljibe/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
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Drenched protesters pushed aside the containers and iron railings intended to prevent them from getting close to the House of Representatives in suburban Quezon, where President Aquino will address Congress.

Authorities used water cannons to push back the activists, who hurled rocks and bottles at the police.

Philippines Aquino protest
Protesters with an effigy of Philippines President Benigno Aquino try to march towards the House of RepresentativesJanis Alano/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Noel Celis/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Ted Aljibe/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Lorgina Minguito/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
Protesters use their placards to shelter from heavy rainJay Directo/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Jay Directo/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Jay Directo/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Ted Aljibe/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Protesters carry an injured comrade after a battle with policeErik de Castro/Reuters
Philippines Aquino protest
President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation addressNoel Celis/AFP
Philippines Aquino protest
Former Philippine president Fidel Ramos chats in the House of Representatives before President Benigno Aquino delivers his State of the Nation addressNoel Celis/AFP

Aquino, whose six-year term ends next June, is expected to report on the progress of his fight against corruption and poverty, his campaign battle cry that landed him a landslide victory.

Problems have persisted in the country where nearly 25% of its 100m populationlive in poverty. Communist and Muslim insurgencies that have raged on and off for more than four decades have combined with law and order problems and natural disasters to turn governance into a tough and complex dilemma.