PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has topped a TIME magazine poll that asked readers who should be included on this year’s TIME 100 – an annual list of the world’s most influential people.
Duterte, who consistently led the poll throughout the voting process, ended up with 5 percent of the total votes by the time it concluded on Sunday.
Closely following Duterte in the TIME 100 poll were Canada’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg – all of whom received 3 percent of the total “yes” votes.
Other prominent Asian leaders to appear in the ranking were China’s President Xi Jinping, with 2 percent of the votes, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with less than 1 percent.
In 2016, US Senator Bernie Sanders won the reader poll, with Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the top spot in 2015.
Since taking office last June, Duterte has proven to be a highly controversial leader, with his heavy-handed crackdown on crime and corruption acting as the lynchpin of his governance.
He has faced a number of scandals in recent months that resulted in the first dip in opinion polls since coming to power.
Last month, opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint in the Philippine Congress accusing the embattled leader of “engaging in bribery, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption and other high crimes.”
He has also been under international scrutiny after vice-president Leni Robredo addressed the United Nations criticising his brutal methods as well as condemning his war on drugs, which is alleged to have cost over 8,000 lives.
A Senate session in March heard retired senior police officer Arturo Lascanas allege that Duterte masterminded the Davao Death Squad, a hit squad charged with extrajudicial killings.
Other controversial events include the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima on drug charges the EU has said were “entirely fabricated” to silence her criticisms of Duterte, the approval of the death penalty Bill in the House of Representatives, and the murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside the Philippine National Police headquarters.
Despite the ongoing controversy and drop in support, most Filipinos still stand firmly behind their unconventional leader with a remarkable eight out of 10 still said to trust his abilities, according to a recent poll. No doubt this unwavering support went some way in helping him secure the top spot on the TIME 100 reader poll.
The official TIME 100 list, which is selected by TIME‘s editors, will be announced on April 20.