Dear President Duterte, you need to apologize for the Hitler analogy, but...
So there I was, peacefully doing my laundry, when a friend told me that The Guardian UK reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to kill 3 million drug addicts and likened himself to Hitler [Guardian]. There’s even a 40-second video clip embedded in the Guardian article to support the claim.
My initial reaction was, “Okay, what did he do this time?” After all, he’s not a stranger to controversial statements, like when he cursed Pope Francis in November [TP: Tatang] or when he unleashed a rape-related joke in April [TP: Jalosjos].
The Guardian’s Bangkok-based Southeast Asian correspondent Oliver Holmes quoted Duterte’s statement, ”If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have [Duterte points to himself]… Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.
That Duterte said those words is not a matter of debate. The issue, however, is what those words really meant.
Duterte’s (more comprehensive) statementUpon his September 30th arrival from his Vietnam state visit, Duterte delivered a speech and answered questions from local media. Part of the event is shown below:
Duterte, in a mix of English, Tagalog, and Cebuano, said:
“[EU lawyers said] that this official... even when he was (still) a mayor, he was threatening to kill the criminals. What… (a) group of idiots in the purest form! You know, if you want to charge me, you have to find out if the penal laws of this land would make a mayor liable if he threatens criminals, or intimidate the wrongdoers.Duterte has a nasty habit of not finishing his sentences [TP: Media Guide], hence the prodigious use of parenthesized words in the quoted text.
To imagine that I would be facing even the International Court [of Justice] for genocide. Such tomfoolery!
Imagine you're in my situation. You're a president and they do the same to you. I'm okay with it, I am used to politics. I've experienced all the filth in my life.
US, EU, you can call me anything, but I was never into, or I am never into hypocrisy, (un)like you. (You) closed your doors, it's winter time, there are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot, and then you worry about the death of, about, 1000, 2000, 3000 (criminals)?
Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there (are) 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them. At least, if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have, you know…
My victims... I would like to be... all criminals… to finish this problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition. Thank you.”
Duterte’s statement 2 days priorAfter watching his speech for the first time a few hours ago, my initial impression was that he stated the words with sarcasm, in light of his 28 September 2016 statement, or two days prior to the “Hitler” incident, directed at EU, among others:
"I have a serious problem in my country. If I fail, I know that it will destroy my country… Who’s involved in the (illegal drug trade)? 11 generals, (35% of all) barangay (village) captains, mayors, (about 14,000) policemen… So what am I supposed to do?
Obama… EU, and EU lawyers who passed a resolution calling my attention…even threatening me to face the International Court of Justice (for allegedly committing) Genocide.
Genocide is when you kill the Jews, or one tribe, one sect, (or those) belonging to the same religion. How can they charge me for genocide if I kill these (drug addicts) who do nothing but destroy my motherland?”
Duterte: The war on drugs is not genocide.
Rody Duterte to the Leila de Lima, US, EU, and UN: "Genocide is when you kill the Jews, or one tribe, one sect, (or those) belonging to the same religion. How can they charge me for genocide if I kill these (drug addicts) who do nothing but destroy my motherland?
Barack Obama Martin Schulz Ban Ki-moon
Posted by Thinking Pinoy on Wednesday, September 28, 2016
What did the EU do?Judging from this lengthy quote, I think it’s clear that Duterte is displeased with the EU’s 13 September 2016 statement [Europa], part of which states:
“…Whereas, during his election campaign and first days in office, President Duterte repeatedly urged law enforcement agencies and the public to kill suspected drug traffickers who did not surrender, as well as drug users.At first glance, the European Parliament resolution appears to simply be stating the obvious. A closer look, however, shows that it is more than that. Much more than that.
[The European Parliament] urges the authorities to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines.”
The EU Resolution’s ImplicationsThe EU dangerously oversimplified Duterte’s statement. Yes, he did urge law enforcement and the public to kill suspected drug traffickers and drug addicts, but only on the condition that the arresting party life’s is put in grave danger when a suspect violently resists arrest.
Duterte specifically said [TP: 400 Deaths]:
“Feel free to call the police, or do it yourself if you have a gun… In an arrest, you must overcome the resistance of the criminal. And if he fights… (if) he fights to (the) death, you can kill him. Just follow that. Only if your life is in danger and the criminal is armed and hostile, shoot him, and I will give you a medal.”
Duterte is not most eloquent world leader, but I think that his instructions, while gruesomely worded, is actually the standard operating procedure for law enforcement throughout the world. If it weren’t, then all policemen on the planet should not be carrying guns in the first place.
What’s more disturbing about the EU resolution, however, is the part that “urges the authorities to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with… international instruments ratified by the Philippines."
International instruments ratified by the Philippines? In the context of the EU’s statement, this phrase likely refers to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the International Criminal Court (ICC), both of which include the Philippines as a signatory.
And in the context of the extrajudicial killings issue, what other crime would Duterte or his government be most likely to be charged with but genocide?
Essentially, the EU Parliament threatens Duterte or the Philippine government with a potential ICC or ICJ genocide case.
Putting things into perspective
Aside from the deliberate misrepresentation of, or the EU’s uncanny ignorance regarding, Duterte’s words regarding killing criminals, a more disturbing reality is that the EU appears to blame the government for the extrajudicial killings issue, despite the lack of convincing evidence linking the Duterte Administration with such [TP: How to Destroy Duterte].
Duterte said the EU did all of these without consulting their Philippine envoys, without investigating the issue themselves.
Duterte points out hypocrisy of the West
Rody Duterte to US, EU, Australia, and UK: "You have a representative here. Ask him first before you insult the President. I am I, but I am not the Republic of the Philippines. When you criticize me (as a head of state), you humiliate the Philippines too."
Barack Obama Theresa May Martin Schulz Malcolm Turnbull
Posted by Thinking Pinoy on Monday, September 26, 2016
And to top it all off, they even had the gall to threaten the Duterte Administration with international court proceedings akin to The Nuremberg Trials against Nazi officials.
So let’s go back to the Hitler statement. The grossly misinformed EU resolution visibly irritated Duterte, as Duterte clearly stated repeatedly, beforehand, that his war on drugs is in no way similar to Hitler-type genocide. Why would Duterte be irritated? Because the EU tacitly called him a mass murderer, if not a genocidal maniac.
To get back at the EU parliament, Duterte sarcastically used the Hitler analogy, something that inevitably struck a raw nerve in Germany, the de facto leader of the EU that carries with it the eternal shame of its Nazi past. True enough, Germany said his Hitler analogy was “unacceptable” [ABS]. However, as far as my common sense allows me to see, this serves the EU Parliament just right.
Should Duterte apologize to the EU? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t really mind if he doesn’t.
Spare the JewsBut there’s a catch: Mr. President, please spare the Jews from the word war.
Jews got entangled in Duterte’s rhetoric as any Hitler analogy inevitably includes the Jews, the people that Hitler’s Nazis slaughtered by the millions during the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945.
This is where you, Mr. President, got it wrong.
My best friend is a Jew, and we’ve had many conversations about historical anti-Semitism, conversations that usually culminate into a discussion of the Holocaust.
Mr. President, you were carried away by his emotions again, so carried away that the Jews got involved in your craving to get back at the self-proclaimed moralist that is the EU parliament.
Here is where an apology is in order. Yes, there are bad Jews and there also are good Jews, in the same way that there are bad Filipinos and there are also good Filipinos. However, just because some are bad doesn’t mean all of them are bad.
My best friend is a good Jew.
Dear Mr. President, I can understand if you won’t apologize to Germany and the rest of the European Union. Actually, I think they deserve the sh*t you threw at them.
But please, apologize to the good Jews. They did not deserve to hear what you said.
Note, however, that I still support you, because I believe that while this issue is disconcerting, there are bigger fish (or pigs) to fry. [ThinkingPinoy]
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