Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who received global attention for his invectives against several world leaders, has emerged as the early frontrunner of Time magazine's online poll of 100 most influential people in the world.

As of 27 March, 9am GMT, 78% of voters said Duterte should be on the "2017 Time 100." That makes the firebrand leader to top the poll with 4% of total votes, surpassing Russian President Vladimir Putin, his American counterpart Donald Trump, Prime Minister Theresa May and Indian PM Narendra Modi, among several others.

The poll opened on 24 March and will close on 16 April and 114 people are being considered for the poll, including politicians, activists, sport personalities, Hollywood celebrities and TV hosts.

Duterte is closely followed by Pope Francis, Putin, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Hollywood actress Emma Watson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Some of the top contenders include sprinter Usain Bolt, tennis champion Serena Williams, Hollywood stars Leslie Jones, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynold, singers Rihanna, Beyonce and Drake. The others include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Americans Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

While readers have been asked to vote and pick who they want to top the poll, editors of the magazine will choose the final list of honorees, Time said.

Duterte has been globally criticised for disregarding human rights in his war against drugs inviting intense scrutiny – all of which the tough-talking president has dismissed. On 23 March, he announced that he was considering imposing martial law as part of his bloody crusade.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte leads TIME Magazine's online poll for its top 100 most influential people list of 2017 Ezra Acayan/Reuters