TIME writer stands by Duterte's 'strongman' tag

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President Rodrigo Duterte was joined by other world leader's in TIME's May 14 story: Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) The writer of the TIME magazine story that featured President Rodrigo Duterte as a "strongman" stood by the decision to label him as such.

In a new article published Friday, TIME Editor-at-large Ian Bremmer the man behind the article, "Emergence of the Strongmen as Natural Leaders" in the May 14 issue defended his decision to lump the Philippine president together with other controversial world leaders in his story.

"Given that Mr. Duterte has made his reputation as a man who loves to talk tough, perhaps he likes being called a 'strongman' a bit more than he's willing to admit. He's spent more time talking about it than I have," Bremmer said in his story, "Duterte Didn't Like When I Called Him a Strongman, Here's Why I Stand By My Story."

Duterte took issue with the strongman tag, which paints him as a political leader who rules by force of will and character or by military methods.

"I have never sent anybody to jail for criticizing me," he previously said. "I said, for all I care a security guard, or police general, or a teacher, or a gardener can criticize me and bullshit me to no end. I will take that."

READ: Duterte refutes 'strongman' tag from TIME magazine

But Bremmer began listing his proof of labeling Duterte as such, starting with the Duterte administration's war on drugs.

"By enabling extrajudicial killings by police and encouraging vigilante justice in his country, Duterte's 'war on drugs' has killed an estimated 12,000 people, including children, most of them poor people," Bremmer wrote.

He also debunked Duterte's claim of not sending anyone to jail for criticism.

"As for not sending anyone to jail for criticizing him, Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte's most forceful critic, has been detained on drug charges that HRW (Human Rights Watch) says are 'politically motivated,'" he explained.

Bremmer also took note of the Supreme Court ruling that ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who has been vocal about her criticisms of the Duterte government. Duterte had earlier called for Sereno's removal from office, after calling himself an enemy of hers.

The TIME writer also said he is not the only foreigner whose opinions Duterte slams.

"His government dismisses evidence of his drug war death toll, substantiated by international rights organizations, as 'alternative facts.' He has tried to harass and intimidate United Nations officials charged with investigating the evidence," Bremmer said.

In April, Duterte had threatened to arrest the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, if she sets foot in the country to investigate the country's drug war.

Duterte was joined by other world leader's in Bremmer's May 14 story: Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The Palace, meanwhile, was quick to defend Duterte saying Filipinos appreciate Duterte's strong and decisive leadership.