Philippine president equates war on crime to Hitler’s war on Jews

The Philippine president won the May elections in a landslide after pledging to wipe out drugs in society, and vowing an unprecedented crime war in which 100,000 people would die.
Students from St Paul’s University, a Roman Catholic school in Manila, protest the killings related to the War on Drugs campaign of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte on September 30, 2016. Bullet Marquez / AP Photos
Students from St Paul’s University, a Roman Catholic school in Manila, protest the killings related to the War on Drugs campaign of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte on September 30, 2016. Bullet Marquez / AP Photos

DAVAO // Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte on Friday drew a parallel between his deadly crime war and Hitler’s massacre of Jews, saying he was “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts.

Mr Duterte also attacked the United States and the European Union for “hypocrisy” in criticising his violent anti-drug campaign, in which more than 3,000 people have been killed since he took office three months ago.

“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” he said, apparently unaware that the true figure was six million. “Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Addressing a crowd in his hometown of Davao after returning from a visit to Vietnam, the president went on, “At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have ...” He paused before continuing, “But you know, my victims, I would like to be (sic) all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

Mr Duterte, 71, won elections in May in a landslide after pledging to wipe out drugs in society, vowing an unprecedented crime war in which 100,000 people would die.

The ensuing violence has drawn criticism from western governments and human rights groups, which have warned of widespread extrajudicial killings as the rule of law crumbles.

US president Barack Obama, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the European Parliament have all voiced concern.

A UN human rights expert also warned last month that his call for drug suspects to be killed violated international law.

Mr Duterte has reacted defiantly, and often with abusive language, to all criticism.

In a speech on Friday morning, he said he was under threat of being taken before an international court for genocide, but insisted he was breaking no laws in the Philippines.

“You are portrayed or pictured to be some, a cousin of Hitler. And you do not even bother to find out, to investigate. Imagine that, I will be facing … even the international court for genocide. That’s foolish,” he said.

Mr Duterte also attacked the European Union and the United States for alleged inaction on the migrant crisis emanating from the Middle East.

“You US, EU. You can call me anything. But I was never into hypocrisy like you,” he said. “There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you’re worried about the death of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?”

Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany from 1933 to the end of the Second World War, instituted the plan for the organised extermination of Jews in Europe which led to about six million deaths by the end of 1945.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: September 30, 2016 04:00 AM

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