MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that despots and insane leaders “should be disposed of at the first instance,” as he visited Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Duterte paid a visit to the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon and said he hopes that the dark moment in the world’s history won't happen again.
“We have learned so much along the years during the 2 wars. There is always a lesson to be learned and that despots and leaders who show insanity should be — well they should be disposed of at the first instance,” Duterte said.
“I would like to say that we are one in saying that it will not happen again and my country will be the first to voice such I said a massacre of a race just because of hate.”
Duterte recalled the events involving World War 2, wherein Germany’s Adolf Hitler ordered a systematic killing of about 6 million Jews.
“I realized that war is insanity. And what happened here, in Europe especially under the Nazi,” he said.
“I could not imagine of a country [obeying] an insane leader. And I could not ever fathom the spectacle of a human being going into a killing spree, murdering old men, women, men, children, mother.”
Duterte’s visit to Yad Vashem comes 2 years after he compared himself to Hitler and said he would be happy to slaughter “3 million drug addicts” like what the Nazi leader did to Jews.
Human rights groups have slammed the Israeli government’s invitation to Duterte. Manila has largely ignored protests on the President’s visit to the Jewish state.
Duterte has also been criticized for his war on drugs, which have seen thousands of drug suspects killed.
His critics have branded him as a dictator in the making, but the chief executive has repeatedly said becoming one is not in his nature.
Duterte, however, recently said he would rather that the country be led by a dictator like the late Ferdinand Marcos instead of Vice President Leni Robredo, who is constitutionally mandated to succeed him in power in case he steps down.
The President has been bringing up the possibility of him stepping down amid persistent rumors about his health. The President cited his frustration over his failure to solve the drug menace and corruption as reason for a possible resignation. - with reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News