Duterte, 71, won elections in May in a landslide after a campaign dominated by his pledge to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people. Photograph: (Getty)
More than 3,000 people have died in three months in a crackdown campaign overseen by the country's president
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte compared his deadly crackdown on drug addicts in the country with Hitler's campaign to exterminate Jews.
"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said in his home city of Davao shortly after returning from Vietnam, AFP reported.
"At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...," he said, then paused. "But you know, my victims, I would like to be (sic) all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition."
President Duterte started a bloody war on drugs since he assumed office on June 30 this year. About 3,000 people have been killed in the anti-drug campaign in the last three months.
The campaign has come to be known as "cardboard justice" as placards with "drug peddler" or "drug addict" written on it have been placed on corpses that are left on the streets.
His anti-semitic statement has caused an uproar among the Jewish community.
World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said in a statement that Duterte should retract his comments as they were "profoundly inhumane" and disrespected human life.
Around six million Jews, including 1.5 million children, were killed in The Holocaust, a genocide that took place under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany.
(WION with inputs from AFP)