Duterte thankful for inclusion in TIME's 'most influential' list; tops early poll

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(File photo) With three percent of total votes, President Rodrigo Duterte leads the online poll of TIME Magazine's Most Influential People list.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte leads TIME Magazine's online poll for its top 100 most influential people list of 2017.

As of publishing time, 80 percent of voters said Duterte should be on the "TIME 100."

This gives Duterte four percent of total votes, ahead of Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, actress Emma Watson, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, all with 3 percent.

Other personalities included in the TIME 100 poll are Lady Gaga, Bernie Sanders, Oprah Winfrey, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Donald Trump bagged two percent of votes, according to TIME.

The poll, which opened Friday and will close on April 16, is a reader's choice poll. The magazine's editors will release the official 2017 TIME 100 on April 20.

People can cast their vote on TIME's official website. They will be shown images of the 114 people considered for the list.

Voters will be asked if a personality is worthy of being on "TIME 100."

After each vote readers are automatically shown the percentage of votes for "yes" or "no."

Duterte has been drawing international attention for the deaths in the drug war, and his anti-U.S. Stance.

Grateful for support

Topping TIME Magazine's poll early, Duterte expresses his gratitude for the people who placed him on the 2017 most influential people list, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

"President Duterte is grateful to the Filipino people all over the world for their support for him and his agenda of real change in Philippine society," he said.

While to receive recognition is always welcome, Abella said the President is still prioritizing the public interest above all.

"As a public servant, he serves the nation faithfully and without any thought of receiving any distinction. For him, the presidency begins and ends with public interest," he said.

[Story updated March 28, 5:13 a.m., to include statement of President Rodrigo Duterte and reflect latest "TIME 100" poll data.]