Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte likened himself to Adolf Hitler on Friday, saying he would "be happy" to kill millions of drug addicts in the country.
Duterte said he was being portrayed by critics of his deadly anti-drug war as "a cousin of Hitler" without investigating the extent of the problem in the Philippines.
"Hitler massacred 3 million Jews," he said in a speech after his return to Manila from a visit to Vietnam. "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..." he said, pointing to himself. "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."
Some 6 million people perished in the Holocaust, most of them Jews.
Duterte said an estimated 216 billion pesos (4.5 billion dollars) was being wasted every year by drug users to support their addiction, money which could instead pay for food and education.
"It’s an investment to destroy lives," he said. "It’s an investment by the drug lords that will break the social fabric of our society."
Since Duterte took office, 1,247 drug suspects have been killed in police operations from July 1 to September 27. Another 1,721 deaths are being investigated by the police during the same period.
The campaign has come under fire from international organisations and foreign countries, such as the United Nations, the European Union and the United States, for allegedly violating human rights and ignoring the rule of law.