‘I’d kill millions of drug users’
MANILA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte 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 US, which will add to pressure on the US government to take a tougher line with the Philippines leader.
Duterte recently insulted US President Barack Obama and in a series of remarks he has 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 reporters he had been “portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler” by critics.
Noting Hitler had murdered millions of Jews, Duterte said: “There are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d 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.”
Duterte was voted to power in May 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 over 3 100 people have been killed since then, mostly alleged drug users and dealers, by police and vigilantes.
His comments were quickly condemned by Jewish groups. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate project, called them “outrageous”.
“Duterte owes the victims (of the Holocaust) an apology for his disgusting rhetoric.” – Reuters