As the drug war in the Philippines intensifies, President Rodrigo Duterte states that he would "be happy" to exterminate the country's millions of drug users, even going so far as to compare himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Since taking office in June, Duterte has taken an extreme stance on drug use, implementing a policy allowing police or civilians to shoot-to-kill anyone involved with the illegal drug trade, according to Reuters. Since June 30, more than 3,100 citizens have been killed
"If [a criminal] fights, and he fights to the death, you can kill him," Duterte said in a speech in June, according to CNN. "Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun. ... You have my support."
In a recent Sept. 30 speech, Duterte said that many of his critics have likened his policies to Hitler, the Nazi extremist responsible for killing six million Jews during WWII. He didn't seem perturbed by the comments, however, and even welcomed the comparison, Reuters reports.
"There are three million drug addicts [in the Philippines]," he said, according to Reuters. "I'd be happy to slaughter them. If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have [me]."
His comments have shocked Jewish organizations and could stand to threaten U.S.-Philippines relations. While the Philippines was once the U.S.'s greatest Asian ally, Duterte's outrageous comments and policies are putting pressure on President Obama to step in.
"The comparison of drug users and dealers to Holocaust victims is inappropriate and deeply offensive," said Todd Gutnick, director of communications for the Anti-Defamation League, to Reuters. "It is baffling why any leader would want to model himself after such a monster."
When pressed to comment on Duterte's speech, however, the White House stayed silent, with a spokesperson simply saying "We continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines and will work together in the many areas of mutual interest.
Sources: Reuters, CNN / Photo Credit: Presidential Communications Operations Office/Wikimedia Commons