Ro­dri­go Du­ter­te apo­lo­gi­zes to Je­wish com­mu­ni­ty

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

PHILIPPINES — Philippines Pre­si­dent Ro­dri­go Du­ter­te apo­lo­gi­zed “pro­found­ly and dee­ply” to the Je­wish com­mu­ni­ty on Sun­day, and said his re­fe­ren­ces to the Ho­lo­caust whi­le dis­cus­sing his war on drugs we­re to hit back at cri­tics who had li­ke­ned him to Adolf Hit­ler. Du­ter­te said he re­cog­ni­zed the com­ments ma­de in the ear­ly hours of Fri­day had cau­sed ou­t­ra­ge among Je­wish com­mu­ni­ties around the world, but he in­sisted his men­ti­on of the Na­zi lea­der was to show how op­po­nents had sought to port­ray him. “I would li­ke to ma­ke it now, he­re and now, that the­re was ne­ver an in­ten­ti­on on my part to de­ro­ga­te the me­mo­ry of the six mil­li­on Jews mur­de­red,” he said in a speech at a fes­ti­val car­ried li­ve on te­le­vi­si­on. “The re­fe­ren­ce to me was, I was sup­po­sed­ly Hit­ler, who kil­led ma­ny pe­o­p­le.”

He ad­ded: “I apo­lo­gi­ze pro­found­ly and dee­ply to the Je­wish com­mu­ni­ty ... it was ne­ver my in­ten­ti­on, but the pro­blem was I was cri­ti­ci­zed, using Hit­ler com­pa­ring to me.”

Mo­re than 3,100 pe­o­p­le ha­ve been kil­led sin­ce Du­ter­te took of­fi­ce three months ago and laun­ched a pro­mi­sed drugs war that was the be­drock of his cam­paign for elec­ti­ons, which he won by a lar­ge mar­gin. Most of tho­se kil­led so far ha­ve been drug users and pus­hers, with so­me de­a­ths du­ring shoot­outs in po­li­ce ope­ra­ti­ons and others the work of vi­gi­lan­tes, po­li­ce say. Du­ter­te, 71, has been nick­na­med “the Pu­nis­her” for his tough stan­ce on cri­me. He said on Fri­day he had been port­ray­ed by cri­tics as being “a cou­sin of Hit­ler” and said he would “be hap­py to slaugh­ter” three mil­li­on Fi­li­pi­no drug users and peddlers. The com­ments cau­sed ou­t­ra­ge, and fol­low other pro­vo­ca­ti­ve pu­blic out­bursts in the past few months. Du­ter­te’s nar­co­tics crack­down has broad sup­port among Fi­li­pi­nos fed up with drugs and cri­me, and he has las­hed out at tho­se who ha­ve chal­len­ged it, in­clu­ding US Pre­si­dent Barack Oba­ma and UN chief Ban Ki-moon. He had ven­ted his frus­tra­ti­on again on Sun­day at hu­man rights groups and what he cal­l­ed “stu­pid” la­wy­ers of the Eu­ro­pean Union. (Reu­ters)

Mo­re than 3,500 al­le­ged drug dea­lers and ad­dicts ha­ve been kil­led. (Pho­to: ti­me)

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