MANILA-- A House of Representatives' leader on Tuesday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for emerging on the top spot of TIME Magazine's 100 'Most Influential List' Reader's Poll for 2017.
In a statement, House committee on dangerous drugs chair and Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers praised Duterte who led the online poll with 5 percent of the total "yes" votes, calling him a "phenomenal and populist leader".
"The people of Surigao del Norte and I extend our congratulations to our President, a phenomenal and populist leader recognized for his pragmatic policies and not playing by the rules and niceties of other leaders," Barbers said.
Duterte was followed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, who all got 3 percent to earn a share of the second spot.
Barbers attributed Duterte's top rank in the online poll to his leadership style, governance, and "unorthodox methods" in dealing with peace and order issues as well as other socio-economic ills.
"As former mayor of Davao City for more than 30 years, Duterte knows the changing subculture and moods of his constituents -- what are their problems, what they think and what they want -- and providing them with best policy solutions in every situation," he said.
Barbers further noted that while Duterte's rhetoric is laced with profanities, the President remains "well-loved and liked by the majority of the Filipinos because of his being truthful and sincere in his words and deeds".
Duterte consistently led TIME's online poll that started in the last week of March and closed in April.
The official list of 2017's most influential personalities, chosen by TIME editors, will be revealed on April 21.
TIME 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by the American news magazine Time.
Source: Philippines News Agency