President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday apologized to the Jewish community for his remarks that drew parallels between Adolf Hitler’s killing of Jews during the Holocaust and his bloody war on drugs.
Speaking at the opening of the 37th Masskara festival in Negros Occidental, Duterte said he did not intend to derogate the memory of slain Jews.
“There was never an intention on my part to derogate the memory of 6 million Jews murdered by the Germans,” Duterte said.
“I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community,” he added.
Upon arriving from an official visit to Vietnam, Duterte on Friday said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts in the Philippines by himself in the same way that Hitler had murdered millions of Jews before and during the Second World War.
“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have …,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City, before pausing and pointing to himself.
The President’s remarks drew a barrage of condemnation from the United Nations, German and Israeli governments, the Pentagon, and international rights groups. JE/rga