In citing Holocaust, Duterte liable for crime vs humanity–solon
Legislators at the House of Representatives have expressed alarm at the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte comparing his administration’s drug war to the Holocaust, with one lawmaker saying the President may be tried for crimes against humanity for openly supporting killing millions of drug addicts.
In a text message on Friday, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat of the Liberal Party said Duterte was exposing himself to charges of crimes against humanity by supporting the killing of drug dependents.
Baguilat said the President seemed to be espousing the slaughter of illegal drug users, even comparing it to the killing of Jews during the rule of Adolf Hitler in Germany.
“Noble intentions can never ever justify genocide. The President is opening himself for possible prosecution in international courts on the grounds of crime against humanity by saying he would like to slaughter three million Filipinos,” Baguilat said.
The Ifugao solon said Duterte’s statement comparing his administration’s war against drugs to the Holocaust may scare away investors, especially those from the Jewish business community.
“Is he implying that it’s open season now for all addicts, no more rehab, just kill them systematically like what the Nazis did with the Jews? It could further threaten foreign investments if (the) Jewish business community boycotts the Philippines,” Baguilat said.
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, for her part, said while this may just be one of Duterte’s hyperbole statements, Duterte comparing himself to Hitler was “troubling.”
“This may well be one of the President’s many hyperbolic remarks. But we cannot just let this pass without batting an eyelash. Threatening to massacre three million Filipinos—all of whom the President claims to be drug criminals—is a serious matter,” Elago said.
“Mr. President, comparing yourself with Hitler is troubling, to say the least. You are talking about committing genocide,” she added.
Elago appealed to the President to abide by the rule of law and respect human rights in his war on drugs, and that he should be mindful of his statements which would have an impact on the country’s policy.
“We again appeal to the good sense of the President to always abide by the rule of law and respect human rights. When it comes to your independent foreign policy direction, we can lend you unequivocal support. But if you start comparing yourself to Hitler, we will not have any of it,” Elago said.
“Remember that your utterances as Chief Executive have the weight of policy, and such remark only serves to fan the flames of impunity and senseless violence in the country,” she added.
Elago concluded: “Becoming the Philippine Führer is not something to aspire for.”
On Twitter, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the Holocaust was not an issue to be joked about.
“Joke or not, the Holocaust is not a reference to be taken and used lightly by anyone. It was the peak of inhumanity that led to violence and death due to hatred and bigotry,” Villarin said on his tweet.
Villarin said the President should be careful with his statements because its impact may be irreversible.
“Even the words of the common man can be so powerful that the effect may be irreversible. Let alone the President’s,” Villarin said.
In his speech in Davao City upon his arrival from his Hanoi trip, Duterte said he would be “happy” to kill three million drug dependents in the country like how Hitler slaughtered the Jews.
“Hitler massacred three million Jews … there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte said.
Millions of Jews — estimated by some historians at six million — were ordered killed by Hitler and his men when they were in power in Germany./rga
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