DFA: German journo tried to ‘provoke’ Locsin on Hitler remarks
MANILA (UPDATE) - Germany has summoned the Philippines' acting envoy in Berlin after "totally unacceptable" remarks that Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. made in an interview related to the holocaust, the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War 2.
German journalist Arnd Henze of ARD broadcasting network said in a tweet that Germany's foreign ministry called on the Philippine representative there after Locsin said he won't apologize for President Rodrigo Duterte's past statement citing Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's massacre of jews in his pursuit of his bloody drug war.
The Philippine mission in Berlin is currently headed by Chargé d' Affaires Lillibeth Pono.
The journalist cited to Locsin Duterte's statement in a press conference in September 2016: "Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. There are 3 million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them."
"In our interview, Philippine's Foreign Minister embraced remarks of President #Duterte about Hitler and slaughtering 3 Million drug addicts. It's not the first time he made extremely offensive comments with reference to the Shoa," Henze said in his Twitter account.
Henze's tweet was accompanied by screenshots of tweets earlier made by Locsin.
In the interview, Locsin said: "No, I won't (apologize). That's how he expressed himself." He added that Duterte's war on drugs "has inspired greater confidence," based on surveys.
"Why should we give that up?" said the top Philippine diplomat, who was in Germany for the Munich Security Conference.
While there, he also met with the Filipino community and inaugurated the Philippine chancery in Berlin.
Asked if he thought Duterte looked at Hitler as a "role model" for his anti-drug policy, Locsin said: "He just mentioned it. I don't think he's (Hitler) a role model for his policy."
He disagreed with the journalist who viewed Duterte's statement as an adoption of Hitler's.
"I don't agree with you. If you want to say it, you say it yourself," Locsin told Henze, who was showing him a video clip of Duterte's statement.
"I'll tell you, I said the same thing. I, myself, said the same thing before he even said it."
In one tweet Henze reposted, Locsin, who was responding to queries about his stand on Duterte's drug war, said in August 2016: "I believe that the drug menace is so big it needs a FINAL SOLUTION like the Nazis adopted. That I believe. NO REHAB."
Duterte's Jewish genocide remarks in 2016 had triggered shock and anger among Jewish groups. He later apologized to the Jewish community for his remarks.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs slammed Henze's "biased representation" of his interview with Locsin.
"The video posted by Mr. Henze on his blog is incomplete and misleading. It failed to show Mr. Henze's deliberate attempts to provoke Secretary Locsin into giving controversial remarks," it said.