Malacanang on Thursday expressed elation over an opinion story wrote by international news network CNN writers Curtis Chin and Jose B. Collaso hailing President Rodrigo Duterte as Asia’s big winner in 2016.
“It’s heartening to know that a certain media agencies are able to notice the good things the President is doing,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a media briefing.
President Duterte reportedly topped the CNN “The Winners and Losers in Asia 2016” list after his overwhelming victory in the last May 2016 elections with strong promise to wage war against corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
Quoting the CNN’s article, Abella said: “For now, the Philippine leader’s unconventional moves seem a harbinger of things to come. This is no pivot to China, but a disruption of the old normal. Rodrigo Duterte ended 2016 seeking to rebalance his nation’s ties, improve the life of the average Filipino and make the Philippines — a one-time economic and trade powerhouse — great again.”
“And for that Asia’s Best Year goes to Duterte,” Abella reacted.
Chin and Collazo commended President Duterte for his intensified war on drugs which, he claimed, has contaminated 4 million Filipinos.
The two CNN writers also cited the famous Filipino leader’s 77 percent trust and approval rating based on the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.
President Duterte has also been cited for declaring a separation of foreign policy with the Philippines’ long-time close ally United States while renewing friendship with China and Russia.
Living up to his campaign promises, President Duterte’s war on drugs has resulted in the arrest of over 40,000 drug pushes and users and in the killing of more than 2,000 drug personalities in legitimate police operations.
The President’s campaign also prompted one million drug addicts to surrender to the authorities.
Japan Times, the most widely-read English language newspaper in Japan, has carried the CNN story about President Duterte haling as Asia’s big winner last year.
The CNN named impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye as one of the individuals who had the worst year in Asia in 2016.