Duterte among world’s most powerful — Forbes
NEW YORK, United States — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is among the most powerful people in the world, according to Forbes magazine Wednesday in its annual rankings.
Duterte was Number 70 on the list, which named Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world’s most powerful person for a fourth straight year and US president-elect Donald Trump in second place.
The 71-year-old Duterte, who was elected in May 2016, landed on the list barely six months after assuming power in July.
The Philippine leader consistently made the headlines for his cursing and for threatening to kill drug pushers and criminals. He also made international news for remarks made on an Australian missionary who was raped and killed when he was still mayor of Davao City.
Duterte’s colorful language about world leaders like Pope Francis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama also caught global attention.
In October, Duterte said that he would “separate” from long-time ally US as he criticized Obama, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg for “meddling” in Philippine internal affairs. He also called Goldberg “gay.”
He has since mended ties with China after relations were strained during the term of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III over dispute in the South China Sea. The Filipino Chief Executive is also nurturing stronger ties with Russia and South East Asian countries.
Meanwhile, Forbes noted the influence of Putin in global affairs.
“Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe,” the US business magazine wrote.
“From the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants.”
The 64-year old Russian leader is “unconstrained by conventional global norms (and) his reach has magnified in recent years,” Forbes said.
The magazine wrote that at number two, Trump, who takes over the US presidency in a little more than a month, “has a seeming immunity to scandal, both houses of Congress on his side, and a personal net worth in the billions.”
Trump, who was elected US president last month, was listed 72nd in Forbes’ 2015 power rankings.
Third place this year went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the helm of Europe’s economic powerhouse for 11 years and announced plans to run for reelection next year.
Barack Obama, who placed second in 2015, plummeted to 48th place this year as he waits out the final weeks of his presidency, with his Democratic Party ousted from the White House after Trump’s shock election win and out of power in Congress.
Fourth place went to China’s President Xi Jinping, while the fifth spot on the list went to Pope Francis.
Forbes said it assesses the influence of “hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe” as it compiles its annual list, which this year has on it 74 powerful movers and shakers. CBB
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