Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit back at critics who compared him to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, saying that he would be “happy to slaughter” the Philippines’ drug users like Hitler killed millions of Jews.
The 71-year-old has been on the receiving end of much criticism from organizations like the United Nations, European Union and countries like the U.S. over his brutal war on drugs that has killed several since he assumed presidency. At least 2,448 drug-related killings have occurred, according to Al Jazeera.
Duterte, speaking to reporters during an official visit to Vietnam, reportedly said early Friday, “You're portrayed or pictured to be some cousin of Hitler and yet do not even bother to find out, to investigate.”
“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them,” he added. Historians say the Nazi leader was responsible for the deaths of nearly 6 million Jews before and during World War II.
Duterte, called the ‘Trump of the East,’ said, “At least if Germany had Hitler the Philippines would have...” and pointed to himself. He said that he would like for all his victims to be criminals so he could “Finish the [drug] problem” in the Philippines and “save the next generation from perdition.”
Duterte stressed that not a single case was filed against him when the Commission on Human Rights was looking into his alleged links with the Davao Death Squad, a vigilante squad that indulged in extrajudicial killings during his term as mayor.
Duterte reportedly said that these public killings, part of his war on drugs, are to discourage people from trying drugs. When he was sworn into office on June 30, he vowed to follow up on campaign threats to kill tens of thousands of criminals and any police personnel involved in criminal activities.
“These sons of whores [drug dealers] are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” Duterte said after being sworn in. “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”