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As the government of the Philippines continues its war on drugs, president Rodrigo Duterte has leveled perhaps his most inflammatory statements yet about his desired course of action. Early Friday, Duterte likened his government's efforts to kill drug criminals to the Holocaust, saying he'd be "happy to slaughter" all three million of the country's drug addicts.
"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them," he told reporters in the Philippines, GMA News reported. "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."
The Washington Post reports that more than 3,300 Filipinos have been killed since Duterte took power in July, either by gunfire in drug stings or by assassins. Duterte has publicly encouraged Filipinos to kill drug addicts.
Phil Robertson, Asia's deputy director for Human Rights Watch, told The Guardian that he was "baffl[ed]" as to why anyone would compare himself to "one of the largest mass murderers in history."
"Does he want to be sent to the international criminal court?" Robertson said. "Because he’s working his way there."
Duterte has also lashed out against Western leaders who have expressed grave concern for his drug policies, and he made news this summer for calling President Obama a derogatory term that translates to "son of a whore." Duterte later insisted the insult wasn't "personal" when Obama canceled a meeting between the two in Laos.