MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang Palace thrown hot water on Friday, April 4, at TIME magazine’s characterization of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as a “Mob boss” in the publication’s May 14 international edition.
Malacañang again defended Presiden Duterte’s style of leadership after the tough-talking Filipino leader was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine’s May 14 international edition, along with other intentional leaders recognized to be “strongmen.”
TIME magazine wrote,In the Philippines, a rising tide of violent street crime helped elect Rodrigo Duterte, a former mayor who talked more like a Mob boss than a President, on his promises to wipe out the drug trade with his own brand of justice.”
President Duterte was featured in the article entitled “Rise of the Strongman” alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Regardless of slant, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has demonstrated strong and decisive leadership – a quality appreciated by Filipinos as evidenced by the Chief Executive’s high satisfaction, approval, trust and performance ratings,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
“Filipinos have learned not to take PRRD literally with his colorful language but they have surely taken seriously the issues the President has espoused, such as the war on drugs and crime,” Roque further said.
President Digong Duterte, a former mayor of Davao City for over 22 years, earned international criticism regarding his brutal war on drugs, which detractors claimed has violated the human rights.
President Duterte has received local and international condemnation for his ongoing “bloody” war on drugs in the Philippines, which has resulted in around 4,000 extrajudicial killings based on official Philippine National Police (PNP) data. Duterte and his colleagues have relentlessly been stating that the drug war is needed in quashing criminality and protecting the younger Filipino generation.
The Philippine government has said there are no extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration, claiming only 4,075 drug-related deaths have been recorded as of March 20.
“The drug problem is not only a Philippine concern. It is a global burden and the Philippines’ war on drugs has been acknowledged by countries and leaders, including Indonesia, China, President Donald Trump and police leaders from other Southeast Asian countries,” Roque added