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Palace: Duterte rejects Hitler tag

by Elena L. Aben

Malacañang yesterday defended President Duterte who was criticized for mentioning Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust in his war against drugs.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the Chief Executive was only addressing the negative comparison that people made between him and the Nazi leader.

The Palace official emphasized that the Philippines recognizes the deep significance of the Jewish experience, especially their tragic and painful history.

The Chief Executive, in a televised early morning press conference Friday, lashed out at unnamed critics who, he said, have pictured him to be a cousin of Hitler and have likened his bloody war against drugs to genocide yet they do not bother to find out or investigate.

“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, there’s a three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them. 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,” he added.

Responding to criticisms on the President’s remarks, Abella said: “We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of six million Jews in the Holocaust – that deep midnight of their story as a people.”

He explained that Duterte’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 the Chief Executive only 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.

“He was just addressing the negative comparison that people made between him and Hitler,” Abella said.

“Hitler murdered three million innocent civilians whereas Duterte was referencing to his “willingness to kill” three million criminal drug dealers – to save the future of the next generation and the country. Those are two entirely different things,” he added.