Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte looks to have compared himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler while saying he would slaughter millions of drug addicts in his country.
In a speech in Davao City following his Vietnam visit, Duterte told reporters that he is being “portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler” by critics.
”If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” Duterte said as he paused and pointed to himself. ”Hitler massacred three million Jews… There are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
”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.”
According to historians, Nazi Germany killed more than six million Jews before and during the second world war as Jewish groups condemn Duterte’s comments.
Several International Jewish groups have described the comments as “outrageous” and ”shocking for their tone-deafness.”
Todd Gutnick, representing The Anti-Defamation League, said:
“The comparison of drug users and dealers to Holocaust victims is inappropriate and deeply offensive.
“It is baffling why any leader would want to model himself after such a monster.”
Former Philippines leader, President Benigno Aquino, had warned prior to the elections that Duterte’s rising popularity was similar to that of Hitler in the 1920s and 1930s.
Duterte has spent his early months in office running a campaign to end drug trade by killing dealers and (alleged) addicts. He has received criticism foreign governments as well as from rights groups.
More than 3,500 alleged drug dealers and addicts have been killed by the police and armed vigilante militias. He has publicly said he will not prosecute police officers for extrajudicial executions.
He has also publicly encouraged civilians to kill addicts.