Outspoken Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte likened himself to Hitler as he said he would be happy to slaughter the country’s millions of drug addicts. The populist leader, who has been widely condemned for launching a violent vigilante war on drug dealers, made his remarks in a rambling speech as he returned to his home city of Davao. He told reporters he had been likened to a cousin of Hitler. “There are three million drug addicts,” he added. “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
Mr Duterte has frequently levelled threats against drug dealers, saying he would drown them to fatten the fish in Manila Bay or hang them because he didn’t want to waste electricity on them. In his latest outburst, he said that while Hitler’s victims were innocent people, his targets were criminals and getting rid of them would “finish the (drug) problem of my country.” His remarks, which were condemned by Jewish groups, came a day after his drug clampdown won support of boxing great-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao. He said Mr Duterte was chosen by God to “discipline the people” even though he also admitted he had tried “many kinds of drugs, all kinds of drugs” before becoming a boxer.
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.
Todd Gutnick, the Anti-Defamation League