Duterte apologizes to Jews for Hitler remark
(philstar.com) - October 2, 2016 - 7:10pm
MANILA, Philippines — After drawing flak for his remark on those comparing him to German leader Adolf Hitler, President Rodrigo Duterte apologized Sunday to the Jews, saying he did not intend to derogate the memory of the millions who were killed by the Nazis during World War II.  
 
“I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish,” Duterte said during the opening of the MassKara festival in Bacolod.
 
“I would like to make it [clear] here and now that there was never intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans,” he added.
 
Duterte said he made the remark as people were comparing him to Hitler due to his bloody war on drugs. The president said while his statement had nothing to do with the Holocaust, he is apologizing if it left a “bad taste in the mouth.”
 
“The Jewish community all over the world reacted,” the president said.
 
“It’s not really that I said something wrong but rather they don’t really want you to tinker with the memory,” he added.
 
Last Friday, Duterte said he is willing to kill three million drug addicts to address the drug menace in the Philippines 
 
"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them" he said upon his arrival from a two-day official visit to Vietnam.
 
"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.
 
The statement did not sit well with Jewish groups, the United Nations, Germany and other members of the international community who believe that it demonstrated lack of respect for human life. The Israeli government described Duterte’s statement as “unfortunate” and believes the president would clarify his words.
 

'Apology is only for the Jews'

Duterte, however, maintained that he was only apologizing to the Jews and not his critics from the West and human rights advocates whom he called “stupid.”
 
“With regard to the stupid lawyers in EU (European Union) and (United Nations Commission on) Human Rights, screw you. Sipain ko pa kayo (I’ll even kick you).
 
“They said I love to curse. What would be my defense when you pretend to be a friend of the Philippine? America, and the Human Rights (Council) of the United Nations, when they hit you, you cannot do anything. They hog the international press. Your response will not reach them,” he added.
 
Despite the outcry over the alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, Duterte maintained that he is determined to pursue his brutal war on drugs.
 
“If you destroy my country, if you destroy my children, I will really kill you. That’s for sure,” the tough-talking president, repeating an often repeated line in his speeches, said.
 
“What is the (Commission on) Human Rights doing? Who did you kill? I don’t know. It’s just your story. The (Commission on) Human Rights actually started [the] garbage,” he added, referring to allegations that he is behind the summary executions of suspected drug offenders.
 
Duterte claimed that all killings have been blamed on him including those who were hit by cars.
 
“If someone dies without suspects, it’s extrajudicial killings. In Manila, it (the number of deaths) has reached 3,000. I was the one being blamed,” the president.
 
Aside from reminders from the UN and US to observe the rule of law in police operations — Duterte has been reminding security forces that they are only authorized to kill if suspects resist arrest and their lives are in danger — the president has been cautioned against statements that may be perceived to be encouraging the killing of suspected criminals, which a UN special rapporteur has likened to a license to kill.
 
“All of these incidents have piled up. I really do not mind,” the president said.

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