CEBU CITY-- A cross-section of the Cebuano community on Tuesday hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for topping the 2017 TIME 100 poll of the world's most influential people.
President Duterte received five percent of the total "yes" votes in the poll, which closed Sunday night.
Following him in the TIME 100 poll were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, all of whom received three percent of the total "yes" votes.
"It's the victory of the Filipino people," said Christopher Ruiz, a lawyer.
"It's an honor for President Duterte as well as our country," said Prudencio Gesta, a former president of the Cebu Bankers' Club.
"It is truly a hallmark of being a strong leader who makes decision without fear for the greatest interest of his country," Gesta said.
Gesta, who is also chairman of the Regional Advisory Council for Police Transformation and Development in Central Visayas, said President Duterte's "uncompromising war against illegal drugs, despite criticism from some sectors, has really caught the attention of the international community."
A very strong leadership, if done for the best interest of our country, is the gateway for better governance and inclusive growth for a better and progressive Philippines," Gesta said.
Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Rico Amores said President Duterte's "iron-fisted" leadership will substantially minimize, if not eradicate, illegal drugs and other crimes and corruption in the country.
"How better to measure his influence than when about a million illegal drug suspects surrendered in Oplan Tokhang," Amores, also a lawyer, said.
Tokhang was the flagship project of the police in implementing a relentless drive against illegal drugs in the country.
Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said President Duterte's feat is notable.
"The interest our country generated can be used to invite more investors to come to the Philippines for more trade and investment opportunities," Ng said.
Source: Philippines News Agency