Aquino named among world's 100 most influential

Kim Arveen Patria
Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

President Benigno Aquino III joined this year's 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine, a recognition which Malacanang said shows the Philippines' improved standing in the eyes of the world.

This is Aquino's first time on the so-called "Time 100" which is now on its tenth year. The list honors people in the world who are "being innovative" and "making a difference," the magazine's executive editor Radhika Jones said.

Aquino was among the 23 top influencers categorized as "leaders" in the list published online late Thursday, which included four other groups--titans, pioneers, icons and artists.

Other leaders in the list, which covers various fields and territories, included Pope Francis, U.S. President Barack Obama, South Korea leader Park Geun-hye and North Korea chief Kim Jong-un.

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Aquino was recognized for the Philippine economy's stellar performance under his watch, as well as his strong stand on crucial issues both locally and in the global stage.

"The sputtering economy stabilized and became hot," the magazine's piece on Aquino said, referring to how the Philippines topped expectations and grew by 6.6 percent in 2012.

Time Magazine also lauded Aquino's support for the Reproductive Health Bill, which he signed into law late last year despite opposition from local Church leaders.

"Most important, he became the face of the regional confrontation with Beijing over its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea," the magazine said.

"It is a brave stance, the long-term consequences still unknown," it added.

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Aquino's inclusion in the Time 100 is "a recognition of the true grit which characterizes his leadership," a Malacanang statement released late Thursday claimed.

It also highlighted "the optimism, dynamism and renewed pride which has restored the standing of our nation in the eyes of Filipinos and the world," the Palace added.