World boxing champion and now Senator Manny Pacquiao was once the "icon of the Philippines", but has now been replaced by the country's President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Yasmin Lee Arpon in her article for the Straits Times, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper based abroad.

MUST READ: President Duterte is Thailand's new favorite
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"In Thailand, I'm often mistaken as a local. Once people find out I'm Filipino, they usually take one good look at me and blurt out "Duterte"!," she said.

The Thai correspondent said that from Taxi drivers to businessmen, the people are curious if President Duterte could really solve crimes and if he will be better than the previous presidents.

She said that in the late 2000's, when one speaks about the Philippines, the song "Anak" by Freddie Aguilar which was translated in 26 languages was what came to the Thai's minds. Then after that, boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao became the country's symbol.

She said Thais like the tough-talking president as he can be compared to their own leader.

"He also reminded some people of Mr Chuwit Kamolvisit, one of Thailand's most colourful politicians, because both have a tough guy image. Mr Chuwit is a massage-parlour tycoon and a former parliament member," the article read.

In the article, a businessman with the name of Veerachai Vachirakamtorn, 64, thinks Mr Duterte is better than other Filipino politicians. "It's good that you have a strong president, the others were corrupt," he said.

Duterte will arrive in Bangkok on Monday to meet the country's leader Chan-o-Cha who also happens to be  a tough-talking leader.

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SUPER SIKAT TALAGA: President Duterte is Thailand's new favorite SUPER SIKAT TALAGA: President Duterte is Thailand's new favorite Reviewed by Unknown on 20 March Rating: 5

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