MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday unleashed harsher words against TIME Magazine for depicting him as a “strongman” on its cover page.
TIME featured Duterte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the cover of its May 14 international edition titled “Rise of the Strongman.”
Duterte disputed the “strongman” label, saying he has not sent anyone to jail for criticizing him.
In his speech Tuesday, Duterte lamented that the TIME portraits were drawn that way to make them look like dictators.
“T*** i** itong Time Magazine na ‘to. Nilagay ako doon sa mga despot. Ba’t diktador ba ako? (It portrayed me as a despot. Am I a dictator?) Since when? Since when did I send somebody to prison for just talking against me?” he said.
“Mukhang monster pa ang pagka-drawing ng mukha (The way it was drawn, I looked like a monster).”
The TIME cover story titled “The 'Strongmen Era' Is Here. Here’s What It Means for You” and written by Ian Bremmer describes Duterte as "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."
Malacañang has defended Duterte from the TIME piece, saying Filipinos have come to appreciate his strong leadership style.