First look: Duterte on TIME magazine’s cover as new ‘strongman’

May 3, 2018 - 8:55 PM
President Rodrigo Duterte figures on the cover story of the international magazine. This time though, he is not alone.

An American columnist teased the next cover of TIME magazine’s Asia edition showing an illustration of four world political figures, the most prominent of which is an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin, for its May 14, 2018 issue.

The three other figures on the cover are Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip and the Philippines’ leader, Rodrigo Duterte.

The cover title reads: “The Rise of the Strongman” by Ian Bremmer.

Bremmer, a political scientist and think tank founder, tweeted that Donald Trump is not on the cover of TIME, the story of which he penned. “But he’d like to be,” referring to the volatile businessman-turned-US president.

The online edition of the international magazine also published the cover story on Thursday night (Manila time).

Bremmer’s piece discusses the emergence and characteristics of the contemporary, political incarnations of 1970s Hollywood leading men—likeable, above the law and macho—in every region around the world at the same time.

Besides the Duterte, Trump, Erdogan, Orban and Putin, the cover story also mentioned China’s Xi Jinping, who can be president for as long as he lives, and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro who detained some of those who opposed him.

Replies to Bremmer’s tweet suggest that Xi and India’s Narendra Modi, who has similarly cracked down on the opposition, should have also made it to the cover.

A second TIME cover for Duterte

This is the second time that the Philippine leader was featured on the cover of the reputable magazine. A black and white photo of a smiling new president was the cover of a thin May 23, 2016 edition that tags him as “The Punisher.”

Duterte in his first TIME cover in May 2016

In the following year, Duterte was also listed as among the world’s 100 most influential people alongside his political rival, Sen. Leila de Lima, who was since imprisoned for drug charges under the president’s war on drugs campaign.

Before he made it to the list, the magazine reported that Duterte, who was massively popular online, also led the online poll.


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