Philippines leader apologises for Hitler comment


Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has said sorry for comparing himself to Hitler, and likening his anti-drugs campaign to the Holocaust.

Speaking at the opening of a regional festival in the south-east Asian country on Sunday, he said: “I apologise profoundly and deeply to the Jewish [people].

“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.”

The president said his Hitler statement had left a “bad taste in the mouth.

“The Jewish community all over the world reacted.

“It’s not really that I said something wrong but rather they don’t really want you to tinker with the memory.”

Mr Duterte caused outrage on Friday when he declared: “Hitler massacred three million Jews... there’re three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

Jewish leaders around the world reacted angrily to the comment.

World Jewish Congress president Ronald S Lauder said: “What President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life that is truly heart-breaking for the democratically elected leader of a great country.”

The US-based Anti-Defamation League said the comments were “inappropriate and deeply offensive”.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said Mr Duterte owed “[Holocaust] victims an apology for his disgusting rhetoric”.

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