Philippines' Duterte apologizes for Hitler remark

President apologizes to Jewish community, says Hitler reference was related to criticisms leveled against him by critics

Philippines' Duterte apologizes for Hitler remark

World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the Jewish community Sunday for comments in which he defended his bloody campaign against illegal drugs by referring to Adolf Hitler.

"I would like to make it here and now that there was never an intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans... I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish [community]," local media quoted him as saying.

The apology comes after Duterte drew international criticism for remarks in which he lashed out at critics who compared him to the Nazi leader before referring to the Holocaust in saying he would be “happy to slaughter” 3 million drug addicts.

“So if you are here, why wouldn't you curse? You're portrayed or pictured to be some cousin of Hitler,” he said Friday.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them," he added. “You know my victims. I would like [them] to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition."

On Saturday, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella attempted to clarify the remarks by saying that the reference to Hitler “did not originate from the President”.

“Days before the May presidential elections, the President’s opponents introduced this issue to gain political mileage,” he said in a statement.

Duterte has repeatedly slammed critics of his bloody campaign against illegal drugs -- which include the United States, the United Nations and the European Union -- often using expletive-laden statements.

According to the Philippines national police, more than 3,000 drug-related killings have been reported since Duterte assumed office June 30.

Of the 3,000 deaths, around 1,490 are under investigation as of Sept. 10 with authorities blaming suspected vigilante groups.

Duterte won the May 9 election on a crime-fighting campaign, and has pledged to curb corruption and criminality within three to six months.

Last month, he requested a six-month extension of his “self-imposed” timeline, saying, “I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this Republic until I became President.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ekim 2016, 17:31