Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said that he had been "portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler," and that "if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...," and pointed to himself, Reuters reported.
KO OLINA, Hawaii (Talk Media News) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter rebuked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who compared himself to Adolf Hitler.
Duterte boasted about exterminating drug dealers comparable to Hitler’s murder of millions of Jews.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called those comments “deeply troubling” but said that the alliance between the nations would not be affected by his rhetoric.
Duterte on Thursday said that he had been “portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler” by critics, and that “if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” and pointed to himself, Reuters reported.
“You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he reportedly said, including that he’d be “happy to slaughter” the three million drug addicts in the Philippines.
Duterte launched into office on a strict law and order ticket and a pledge to rid the Philippines of drug trafficking. Since, some 3,000 people have been killed by police and vigilantes.
Asked about the comments and the killings Friday after a meeting Southeast Asian defense ministers in Hawaii, Carter said they were not discussed at the meeting, where Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was also present.
“As far as the alliance is concerned, it has been in existence and has served the interest of out nations for many years now … The alliance is an alliance of independent and strong nations, and like all alliances, it depends upon a continuation of a sense of shared interests,” Carter said.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner echoed Carter, telling reporters Friday that the alliance is built upon “our shared belief in human rights and human dignity, and within that context, President Duterte’s comments are a significant departure from that tradition.”
“Words matter, especially when they’re from leaders of sovereign nations,” Toner added.
On Thursday, before Duterte’s Hitler comments, Carter characterized the US-Philippines alliance as “ironclad.”
The day prior, Duterte said that the Philippines would cancel all future military exercises with the U.S., a statement Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay later walked back to just ending joint military patrols outside the Philippines’s 12-nautical mile territorial waters.
“The U.S. has strong security interests in the Philippines regardless of who’s president … It’s had its ups and downs and it’s survived,” a senior defense official said after Carter’s Thursday address. “And, it’s going to to continue to survive based on what we think are U.S.-Philippine security interests.”