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Duterte rejects Hitler comparison, 'happy' to kill drug addicts

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 14:06
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at unnamed critics he said have compared him to Adolf Hitler and have likened his anti-drugs campaign to genocide.

[BANGKOK] Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at unnamed critics he said have compared him to Adolf Hitler and have likened his anti-drugs campaign to genocide.

"You're worried about the death of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000," Mr Duterte said in a speech early on Friday, referring to the number of people killed since he launched his war on illegal drugs.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, there's a three million drug addict. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them," he said, according to a transcript provided by the president's office.

Mr Duterte added that he would like to "finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition".

At least six million Jews died during the Holocaust instigated by Hitler and the Nazis.

Mr Duterte has made good on a promise to launch a ruthless campaign to suppress illegal drugs, with more than 3,000 people killed in the past three months.

He has called narcotic use a pandemic and defended the tactics of police while accusing critics of valuing the lives of criminals over what he says is the good of society.

The campaign has prompted criticism both at home and abroad, with the UN, European Union and US among those expressing concern.

Mr Duterte has regularly lashed out at critics in obscenity-filled speeches, including one in which he threatened to leave the UN and another that prompted US President Barack Obama to cancel a meeting with him.

Last week, Mr Duterte said he would welcome an investigation from both the EU and the UN.

He said there was no law against threatening criminals, and only drug suspects who resisted arrest had been killed.

BLOOMBERG