The Philippines is not undermining the tragic history of the Jews.
Malacañang issued this statement Saturday following the international outcry over President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement where he drew parallel comparisons between the execution of drug addicts in the Philippines and Adolf Hitler’s killing of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.
“The Philippines recognizes the deep significance of the Jewish experience especially their tragic and painful history,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Abella explained that Duterte was just deflecting comparisons between him and the former German strongman—a label, which the President does not accept.
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“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. Those are two entirely different things,” Abella said.
Various individuals and organizations including Jewish groups have condemned Duterte’s “disgusting rhetoric.”
The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish group based in the United States, said, “The comparison of drug users and dealers to Holocaust victims is inappropriate and deeply offensive. It is baffling why any leader would want to model himself after such a monster.”
The Philippines was one of the nations which welcomed exiled Jews during the Holocaust.