The Philippines president said Friday he wanted to eliminate drug criminals the way Hitler did the Jews.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts…I’d be happy to slaughter them,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in Davao after returning from Vietnam, according to GMA News.
Duterte is known for his bombastic rhetoric and outrageous behavior, some of the highlights of which include calling the President Barack Obama a “son of a whore,” issuing a “f**k you” to the United Nations, and flipping off the European Union. But, the president’s latest statements have broken new ground.
“At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have … You know my victims, I would like to be, all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” Duterte explained, stressing a desire for a final solution to the Philippines drug problem.
The Philippines president made his comments in response to growing criticisms abroad, particularly in the U.N., U.S., and E.U., of his brutal drug war.
Duterte’s drug war has killed over 3,000 people since it began a few months ago. The drug war has primarily focused on the eradication of dealers. Addicts, while many have been killed, were expected to be allowed to receive treatment at rehabilitation centers, yet Duterte’s words indicate that he wants to eliminate dealers and addicts alike.
Many Philippines legislators expressed concern over the president’s statements. “Noble intentions can never ever justify genocide. The president is opening himself for possible prosecution in international courts on the grounds of crime against humanity by saying he would like to slaughter three million Filipinos,” Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat said Friday.
“This may well be one of the President’s many hyperbolic remarks. But we cannot just let this pass without batting an eyelash. Threatening to massacre three million Filipinos—all of whom the President claims to be drug criminals—is a serious matter,” said Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago, “Mr. President, comparing yourself with Hitler is troubling to say the least. You are talking about committing genocide.”
“Joke or not, the Holocaust is not a reference to be taken and used lightly by anyone. It was the peak of inhumanity that led to violence and death due to hatred and bigotry,” Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin tweeted in response. “Even the words of the common man can be so powerful that the effect may be irreversible. Let alone the President’s,” he added.
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