Duterte personally apologizes to Jews in PH for ‘Hitler’ comments
MANILA — President Duterte personally apologized to the Jewish community in the Philippines, on Tuesday, for comparing his bloody war on drugs to Adolf Hitler’s persecution of Jews.
Mr. Duterte blamed the media and his political opponents for portraying him like Hitler.
“When I was coming home from Laos, I was tired. We arrived at 2 o’clock in the morning from the Asean summit and part of the briefing was I was pictured by media guys, especially those against me on the political side, that I was portrayed and pictured as a Hitler,” the President told some 100 Jews marking the Jewish New Year at the synagogue in Makati. (Duterte went to Laos to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.)
“And true to my character, I’m not one who would say, ‘No, I am not that.’ I would just say OK… In doing so, I mentioned the word Jewish and that was what was terribly wrong and for that I apologize,” Duterte said, which drew applause from the community.
The President expressed his respect for the Jews and mentioned that his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman is a descendant of an American Jew.
“Why would I defile the memory of the Jews? What will I get if I insult the Jewish people? When we have been friends…,” he said.
“Even in the matter of arms, I said do not buy from anyone except from Israel. Why? Because we have excellent relations and if you sell us this gadget, they won’t include a bug there to listen,” Mr. Duterte said, eliciting laughter from the audience. SFM