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Duterte tops Time poll of 100 most influential people

World

Manila - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a tough-talking, crime-fighting former mayor, has topped Time magazine's online reader poll for its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The official Time 100 list will be released on Thursday, the magazine said.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte points to photographers during an awards ceremony for outstanding government workers, at the Malacanang Palace in Manila. File picture: Ezra Acayan/Reuters

Duterte, who took office on June 30, took 5 per cent of the online votes cast, followed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Time said.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte is "so admired by Filipinos and international leaders alike (because of) his national agenda - he has prioritized public interest first and foremost."

"With or without the distinction, the president continues to be a hard-working government worker and faithful servant of the Filipino people," Abella said in a statement Monday.

"Indeed Filipinos find in the president a kindred spirit, a leader who acts for the common good," he added.

Duterte has become notorious for a string of foul-mouthed and sexist remarks, a deadly campaign against illegal drugs that has killed thousands and threats to break ties with the country's oldest ally, the United States.

Last month, the 72-year-old leader lashed out at European Union lawmakers, calling them "sons of bitches" and "fools" for calling on the Philippines not to reimpose the death penalty and expressing support for a detained opposition senator.

Duterte also told former US president Barack Obama to "go to hell" and called the United Nations "stupid" just three months into his six-year term. 

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