Story By News5-InterAksyon
(UPDATED 2 – 9:40 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines – He is the world’s most influential person, apparently more persuasive than Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and social media king Mark Zuckerberg at least based on a survey conducted by an international publication.
On Monday, April 17, TIME Magazine announced that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte “won” after “consistently leading” a 2017 survey that asked readers who should be included in this year’s TIME 100 – a yearly list of the world’s most influential people.
TIME said Duterte had received 5 percent of the total “yes” votes in the poll, which closed Sunday night.
“Since taking office in June, Duterte has waged an aggressive war on drugs that has killed more than 8,000 people in the Philippines,” TIME said quoting a report by Reuters.
It said “the controversial anti-drug campaign has inspired growing opposition from human rights groups and some political leaders, including Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo.”
Closely following Duterte in the TIME 100 poll were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Zuckerberg — all of whom received 3 percent of the total “yes” votes.
U.S. Bernie Sanders won the reader poll in 2016 while Russian President Vladimir Putin took the lead in 2015, TIME said.
The magazine said the official TIME 100 list, which is selected by TIME’s editors, would be announced on April 20.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Monday said, “What makes President Rodrigo R. Duterte so admired by Filipinos and international leaders alike is his national agenda – he has prioritized public interest first and foremost, especially the needs and aspirations of the poor and common people.”
“With or without the distinction, the President continues to be a hardworking government worker and faithful servant of the Filipino people,” Abella said.
“In positive terms, he has a simple 3 point agenda: Prosperity for all; restore trust in government; build a fair and equitable society. Indeed Filipinos find in the President a kindred spirit – a leader who acts for the common good,” he added.