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.
Duterte also attacked the United States and the European Union for “hypocrisy” in criticising his anti-drug crackdown, in which more than 3,000 people have been killed since he took office three months ago.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte said in his home town of Davao after returning from a visit to Vietnam.
“At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have,” he said, then paused. “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.”
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 attracted a barrage of criticism from Western governments and 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 rights expert also warned last month that his call for drug suspects to be killed violated international law.
But Duterte has reacted defiantly, and often with abusive language, to all criticism.
In a rambling speech on Friday morning, Duterte said he was under threat of being brought 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.
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 or I am 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, led a campaign to wipe out Jews in Europe which led to about six million deaths by the end of World War II.