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Duterte's drug war criticized in Time 100 writeup


President Rodrigo Duterte may have won the online poll for Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list, but the writeup for his entry contains a rebuke of the drug war that is the centerpiece of his administration.

Penned by former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria, the profile on Duterte noted: "His ironfisted strategy alarms governments, human-rights organizations and faith-based groups while winning high approval ratings at home."

"Duterte could start by treating drugs as a health, human rights and development issue. He could prosecute the most violent criminals and provide treatment for users rather than condemn them to prison, or worse," it added.

"There will always be drugs in the Philippines, whether the President likes it or not. The tragedy is that many more people are likely going to die as he learns this lesson."

Gaviria has previously written about Philippines' war on drugs in a piece in the New York Times, urging Duterte to not repeat the mistakes Gaviria made in Colombia.

In response, Duterte called Gaviria an idiot for his column.

Duterte got five percent of the vote in the Time online poll, besting other luminaries such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

After his win in the online poll, Malacañang had 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.

Duterte's most vocal critic, Senator Leila De Lima, also made the list. Editors of the magazine has final say on the composition of the Time 100. —JST, GMA News

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