Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has disputed Time magazine's description of him as one of the world's strongmen.
Duterte features on Time's cover, in the issue to be released on May 14, with the title "Rise of the Strongman," together with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
"According to Time magazine, I'm one of the strongmen. But I am not a strongman," he said in a speech at a gathering of school principals in his home city of Davao. "I have never sent anybody to jail for criticising me."
"When have I lorded it over the Philippines? I won the presidency by six million [votes] because for most of the people, I was the only one carrying the message appropriate for the time," he added.
Time described the 72-year-old Duterte, who was elected in May 2016, as a "former mayor who talked more like a mob boss than a president."
It noted that he won on "promises to wipe out the drug trade with his own brand of justice."
While Duterte said Filipinos are free to criticise him because he is a government worker, one of his staunchest critics, Senator Leila De Lima, has been in detention for one year on allegations she received bribes from illegal drug syndicates.
De Lima has maintained that the charges against her were politically motivated due to her criticism of Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs, which has left thousands of suspects killed in police operations or vigilante killings.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Manila lifts curbs on AstraZeneca shots
Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar
Giant clam shells worth nearly $25mn seized in Philippine raid
Giant clam shells worth $24.8 million seized in Philippine raid
Myanmar's junta releases 23,000 prisoners in New Year's amnesty
Opponents of Myanmar coup announce unity government
Duterte floats conversion of hotels into Covid facilities
Philippines lifts nine-year-old ban on new mines to boost revenues
Will ‘waive’ Covid-19 vaccine, says Duterte