Right after telling off the Americans anew for their questioning of his administration’s war against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark alluding to the unlamented, reviled German dictator Adolf Hitler’s extermination of three million Jews is the latest in a string of offensive statements that seems, like the anti-drug campaign he’s waging, to show no signs of stopping.
He actually prefaced his Hitler reference by accusing the US and the European Union of picturing him as “a cousin of Hitler” before launching into his now infamous analogy of the Holocaust with the mounting casualties of drug users and drug dealers in the past three months.
The President said he would be happy to slaughter the three million drug addicts whom he had continually harped on as posing a threat to the safety and security of the Filipinos.
The Office of the Presidential Spokesman — laconically referred to as the Office of Corrections for the many clarifications they have to make in behalf of a President who is said to be suffering from “foot in mouth” disease — said it was never the intention of Mr. Duterte to make light of or even compare the ongoing extrajudicial killings that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 drug users to the Holocaust.
Germany, whose collective national memory is seared by the Holocaust, roundly condemned the President’s remarks, and rightly so. If anything, is the President equating the deaths of suspected drug users/addicts and suspected drug dealers to the millions of Jews who died at the hands of Hitler?
President Duterte’s penchant to entertain the audience has, more often than not, gone overboard to say the least. His Hitler reference is just as bad as the insult he made against Pope Francis or that joke he made about the female Australian missionary who was raped and murdered.
When Mr. Duterte said he managed to accept the criticism leveled at him for his tough stance on crime during his tenure as Davao City mayor yet bristled at the continued assault on the same program he is implementing now that he is President, did he stop to think that now that he is President, he represents the Filipinos to the whole world and that anything he says, including his continued verbal assaults on world powers and institutions, reflect on his constituents as well?
Apparently not, because he is surrounded by communists who he publicly said he sympathizes with and who are now, if not earlier before, influencing his foreign policies to the detriment of the Filipinos who either voted for or rejected him in the elections.
Regardless of what his apologists in government and social media accuse his critics of saying or doing, the mercurial President Duterte is ultimately responsible for making whatever reprehensible, incendiary statements he makes in public.
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