Duterte decries Hitler comparison, but 'would be happy to slaughter drug addicts'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte lashed at his critics whom he said were comparing him — unfairly — to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

"Kaya kung ikaw nandito, bakit hindi ka magmumura? [If you were in my position, why wouldn't you curse?] You're portrayed or pictured to be some… a cousin of Hitler. And you do not even bother to find out, to investigate," the President said in a speech early Friday morning.

The tough-talking president then apparently embraced the comparison, and said that if Hitler massacred millions of Jews, he would do the same to millions of drug addicts in the country.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million drug addicts [in the Philippines], there are. I'd be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...," he said as his thought trailed off.

Duterte added, "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," he said.

 

Duterte added that while the comparison to Hitler may have been all right if he was still city mayor, making the comparison now that he is President puts all Filipinos to shame.

"Okay lang sa akin. Sanay ako sa pulitika [It’s okay with me. I am used to politics]," he said.

History counts the cost of Hitler's purges against "undesirables" at six million, the vast majority of whom were Jews.

Duterte 'rejects Hitler label'

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Saturday made clarification on Duterte's controversial comments.

Abella said the President meant no harm, as he was just addressing the negative comparison people have made between him and Hitler.

"The President's reference to the slaughter was an oblique deflection of the way he has been pictured as a mass murderer, a Hitler, a label he rejects," Abella said in a statement posted on the Presidential Communications Operations Office Facebook page.

Read: Palace clarifies Duterte's Hitler remark after comment leaves UN, human rights groups aghast

"We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust - that deep midnight of their story as a people," Abella added.

Abella said Duterte drew an "oblique conclusion, that while the Holocaust was an attempt to exterminate the future generations of Jews, the so-called "extra-judicial killings", wrongly attributed to him, will nevertheless result in the salvation of the next generation of Filipinos."

"Hitler murdered 3 million innocent civilians whereas Duterte was referencing to his 'willingness to kill' 3 million criminal drug dealers - to save the future of the next generation and the country," Abella said. "Those are two entirely different things," he clarified.

Duterte reacts to criticism from the international community

The President denounced the criticisms he has been receiving from the United States and the European Union — both of which expressed concerns about Duterte's war on drugs and allegations of extrajudicial killings.

"Kayong U.S., EU, you can call me anything. But I was never into, I am never into hypocrisy like you. There are migrants escaping from the Middle East, you allow them to rot. And you're worried about the death of 1,000, 2,000, 3,000? " he said.

Related: U.N. committee probes state of human rights in PH

The President was also asked for his reaction to the statement of U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin and Patrick Leahy. The senators criticized the country's cases of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Cardin and Leahy described the country's cases of extrajudicial killings as "systematic, wide-spread, brutal, and beyond the bounds for a constitutional democracy." They are expecting the number of dead to reach 6,000 people by the end of 2016 if the pattern continues.

Duterte warned them not to interfere with the Philippines' affairs.

"I ask you now, 'Why are you shooting black people when they are on the ground?' Sila pwede tapos tayo hindi? Sabi ko, 'hypocrisy!'"

He said that in all the years he has served in public office, not a single case was filed against him, adding that it is all talk until now.