President Rodrigo Duterte garnered another international recognition as he was named as TIME Magazine's reader poll winner for its TIME 100.
Getting five percent of the votes, Duterte bested Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The poll posted on March 24 asked, "Who should be on the 2017 TIME 100?"
"Since taking office in June, Duterte has waged an aggressive war on drugs that has killed more than 8,000 people in the Phillippines [sic], according to Reuters. The controversial anti-drug campaign has inspired growing opposition from human rights groups and some political leaders, including Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo," TIME said as it announced Duterte's online win.
TIME 100 is an annual list of the world's most influential people, selected by the magazine's editors. TIME will reveal its list on April 20.
Meanwhile, Forbes Magazine in December named Duterte as one of the 74 most powerful people in the world, raking him at 70th place.
Duterte caught the attention of the international press and human rights advocates for his war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives of suspects in a matter of months.
The New York Times even won a Pulitzer Award for freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak's coverage on the drug war.
Malacañang, meanwhile, said that Duterte is admired by both Filipinos and other leaders for prioritizing national interest.
"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," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on the TIME 100's poll results.
"With or without the distinction, the President continues to be a hardworking government worker and faithful servant of the Filipino people," he added.
Abella stressed that Duterte only has a three-point agenda.
"Prosperity for all, restore trust in government, build a fair and equitable society," he said.
"Indeed Filipinos find in the President a kindred spirit - a leader who acts for the common good," Abella added. —ALG, GMA News