Friday, September 30, 2016 10:09 pm
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and said he would “be happy” to exterminate three million drug users and peddlers in the country.
His comments triggered shock and anger among Jewish groups in the United States, which would add to pressure on the U.S. Government to take a tougher line with the Philippines leader.
Duterte recently insulted President Barack Obama and in a series of remarks he had undermined the previously close relationship between Manila and Washington.
In a rambling speech on his arrival in Davao City after a visit to Vietnam, Duterte told newsmen that he had been “portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler” by critics, adding that Hitler had murdered millions of Jews.
“There are three million drug addicts in the Philippines. I would be happy to slaughter them.
“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…, he said, pausing and pointing to himself.
“You know my victims. I would like them to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,’’ he noted.
Duterte was voted to power in a May election on the back of a vow to end drugs and corruption in the country of 100 million people.
He took office on June 30, and more than 3,100 people had been killed since then, mostly alleged drug users and dealers in police operations and in vigilante killings.
He said that his critics did not even bother to investigate and continue to accuse him of committing genocide.
However, his comments were quickly condemned by Jewish groups.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Head of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Digital Terrorism and Hate project, called them “outrageous.’’ (Reuters/NAN)