Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has drawn more criticism from U.S. officials after he made these disturbing comments comparing himself to Hitler:

“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.”

But after officials criticized his remarks, Duterte has issued an apology.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and State Department Mark Toner both criticized the offensive remarks. The Hill reported:

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called Duterte’s comments “deeply troubling,” though he added that the bilateral relations between the two countries “served the interests of our nations for many years now.”

He also said that he had a productive discussion about “ongoing alliance operations” with Philippines.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner called the comments “troubling” and said words do matter, “especially when they’re from leaders of sovereign nations.” Yet, just like Carter, Toner stressed that the U.S. will continue to work with the Asian country:

He continued, “While there (are) these remarks occasionally being made, at the working level our relationship remains very strong and very vital.”

Toner highlighted security cooperation as one such area that remained strong, comments that followed remarks Thursday by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter describing the two countries’ military relationship as “ironclad.”

Duterte has issued this apology:

“I would like to make it now, here and now, that there was never an intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered,” he said in a speech at a festival carried live on television.

“The reference to me was, I was supposedly Hitler, who killed many people.”

He added: “I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community … it was never my intention, but the problem was I was criticized, using Hitler comparing to me.”

Duterte explained that he made the remark because others have already compared him to Hitler due to his violent war on drugs.

Since Duterte took office, officials have killed almost 3,100 suspected drug dealers. Photos from the media have shown these people “often bound hand and foot, shirts soaked in blood, their faces sometimes covered in duct tape, wearing crude signs proclaiming their alleged crimes.”

At least 700 have died during police operations:

“Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars — or below the ground, if they so wish,” Duterte said during his State of the Nation speech on July 25.

Duterte came under fire in early September when he called President Barack Obama a son of a whore after he learned Obama wanted to speak with him about his war on drugs.

Obama canceled his meeting with Duterte and met with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye instead.

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