(BACOLOD CITY) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday apologized to the Jewish community saying that he did not intend to derogate the memory of the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust.
“I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community,” Duterte said in his speech as he graced the opening of the 37th MassKara Festival here.
“I would like to make it here and now that there was never an intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans,” he added.
The President said he never intended to denigrate the Jews but he was merely reacting to criticisms likening him to Adolf Hitler.
“It was never my intention but the problem was I was criticized using Hitler comparing to me,” he said.
Duterte maintained that the relentless campaign of the administration against illegal drugs would continue despite criticisms even from the international community.
He underscored the importance of solving the deeply entrenched problem of illicit drugs in the country, which he said has affected almost four million Filipinos.
Malacañan earlier dismissed the Hitler allusion of the government’s anti-drug war as “crude attempt to vilify the President in the eyes of the world.”
The President’s opponents during the last May elections compared Duterte to Hitler only to gain political mileage but such derision did not work, said Palace spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
Abella stressed that President Duterte has “flatly rejected” to be compared to Hitler.
Meanwhile, the President also took the opportunity to visit Police Officer 1 Robert John Arzaga, who was wounded in an operation in Negros Occidental last week.
Arzaga is currently confined at the Riverside Medical Hospital.###PND