Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte intends to kill an estimated 3 million drug addicts – at least, that’s what he said recently when comparing himself to Hitler.
Duterte did not seem to bluff when he made the statement. “Hitler massacred three million Jews,” he said. “There are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
These are words that will no doubt leave those listening threatened. It did not take long for world authorities to start condemning the president’s statements.
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry criticized Duterte’s comments, calling them “unacceptable.” Martin Schaefer said, “It is impossible to make any comparison to the unique atrocities of the Shoah and Holocaust.”
Other renowned personalities like World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder followed suit in quickly lambasting these comments. Lauder said the remarks were “revolting” and asked the President to withdraw them and ask for forgiveness. He acknowledged that drug abuse is a serious issue but noted that the President’s comments were “profoundly inhumane” and demonstrated “an appalling disrespect for human life.”
Duterte was only recently elected president of the Philippines, but he has spent these first months killing his own citizens in what he describes as a campaign to get rid of alleged addicts. At least 3,500 people have already been killed within his first three months as president. More than 30 percent of these killings have occurred in police operations.
The president has himself encouraged citizens to kill addicts they find around them and says he will not arraign police cases of extrajudicial executions. His actions have sparked anger amongst rights groups and other countries.
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