Philippines President likens himself to Hitler

Updated 11:33 AM EDT, Fri September 30, 2016
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he answers questions from the press at Manila International Airport on March 23, 2017.  
Duterte warned he may impose martial law and suspend elections for tens of thousands of local posts, fuelling concerns about democracy under his rule. Duterte said he was considering both measures as part of his controversial campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society, and that martial law would also solve a range of other security threats. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS        (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he answers questions from the press at Manila International Airport on March 23, 2017. Duterte warned he may impose martial law and suspend elections for tens of thousands of local posts, fuelling concerns about democracy under his rule. Duterte said he was considering both measures as part of his controversial campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society, and that martial law would also solve a range of other security threats. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016. Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine soldiers ride in the back of a truck as they leave a military camp in Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 25, 2017, to reinforce soldiers at the battlefront in the city centre days after Muslim extremists attacked the city. Philippine troops aboard helicopters and in armoured tanks battled Islamist militants inside a southern city on May 25, as reports emerged of the gunmen murdering civilians. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016. Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 20: President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping review the honor guard as they attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, China. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is on a four-day state visit to China, his first since taking power in late June, with the aim of improving bilateral relations.  (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
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BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 20: President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping review the honor guard as they attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, China. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is on a four-day state visit to China, his first since taking power in late June, with the aim of improving bilateral relations. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
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Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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Story highlights

NEW: World Jewish Congress called the remarks "revolting"

President Duterte invokes Hitler and massacre of Jews in speech about drug killings

Duterte's comments are the latest in a long line of controversial remarks

(CNN) —  

When comparing yourself to world leaders or historical figures, there are perhaps less controversial choices than Adolf Hitler.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday likened himself to the Nazi leader, saying he wants to kill millions of drug addicts, just as Hitler killed Jews during the Holocaust.

“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is 3 million, what is it, 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines), there are,” he said in a speech in his hometown of Davao City.

“I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me). You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

History counts the cost of Hitler’s purges against “undesirables” at 11 million, 6 million of whom were Jews.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, in Israel to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, condemned the remarks.

“These statements are revolting, and President Duterte must retract them and apologize,” Lauder said. “We just marked the 75th anniversary of Babi Yar, the massacre of more than 33,000 Jews in Ukraine by Nazi Germany. … Now, the elected leader of the Philippines openly calls for the mass murder of people who are addicted to drugs.

“Drug abuse is a serious issue. But what President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life.”

The controversial leader campaigned on a hard line against crime, particularly drug offenses, and has in the past uttered statements which have caused many in the international community to recoil.