Duterte, Philippines’ Leader, Apologizes to Jews for Holocaust Remark

Source: The New York Times

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines apologized to Jews worldwide on Sunday after his remarks drawing comparisons between his war on drugs and the Holocaust set off outrage.

Mr. Duterte said his apology was intended only for Jews. He lashed out again at Western critics and human rights advocates who have raised concerns over his brutal crackdown, which in three months is estimated to have killed more than 3,000 people suspected of being drug dealers or users.

Mr. Duterte said in a speech in the central city of Bacolod that he had never intended “to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans.”

“I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community,” he said.

On Friday, Mr. Duterte escalated his antidrug campaign by comparing it to Hitler and the Holocaust. “Hitler massacred three million Jews,” he said, understating the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust by three million. Then he added that there were three million drug addicts in the Philippines and said, “I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

In that speech, he said he had been “portrayed or pictured to be a cousin of Hitler” by his critics, although he did not elaborate.

Germany’s government called Mr. Duterte’s comments on Friday unacceptable and summoned the Philippine ambassador to its Foreign Ministry.

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