Palace welcomes Duterte inclusion among world’s ‘most powerful’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP File Photo

Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the inclusion of President Rodrigo Duterte as among the most powerful people in the world as cited by Forbes magazine.

READ: Duterte among world’s most powerful — Forbes

Duterte was number 70 on the list, which named Russian President Vladimir Putin as the world’s most powerful person and US president-elect Donald Trump in second place.

“As President, he has used the immense powers vested in him by the Constitution with utmost responsibility to promote the well-being of the people,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in statement.

Andanar cited Duterte’s war on drugs that led to the surrender of more than 800,000 drug addicts in the country.

“The President launched an unprecedented anti-drug war that saw the surrender of more than 800,000 drug addicts and charted a new course in international relations with his pursuit of an independent foreign policy which means moving strongly and swiftly towards regional economic rebalancing for closer integration in Asia,” he said.

The Palace official said the Philippines was forging closer ties with our Asian neighbors for economic growth.

“As the President walked the extra mile for peace, the Chief Executive made the country’s economic growth the fastest among emerging Asian economies and lowered unemployment to its lowest level in more than a decade,” he said.

Andanar assured that the Filipinos’ interest would always be first in Duterte’s mind.

“Much has been done in the first six months and much more will be done in the succeeding months and years. After all, the President’s heart is in the right place, and he has only the interests of the Filipino people and the nation in his mind first and foremost,” he said. RAM