STATE DEPARTMENT - The United States called "troubling" Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's comments likening himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and said they marked a "significant departure" from the core value in human dignity shared between Washington and Manila.
Duterte said he would be "happy" to kill 3 million drug users and criminals as one way to "finish the problem" earlier.
"Words matter, especially when they are from leaders of sovereign nations," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said Friday, adding Washington was "deeply concerned" about reports of Manila's extrajudicial killings.
Toner said America's long partnership with the Philippines "has been based on a mutual foundation of shared values, and that includes our shared belief in human rights and human dignity."
Duterte, who has asked the Senate for an extension of his war on drugs, previously said human rights investigations would not stop him from continuing to crack down on addicts.
"Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts. … I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said in Davao City after an official visit to Vietnam.
He said critics had portrayed him as a "cousin" of the Nazi leader. Duterte added that if Germany had Hitler, then the Philippines would have him.
"You know my victims. I would like [them] to be all criminals and to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition," he said.
During the speech, Duterte said the United States and Europe could call him anything, but he was never "into hypocrisy like you," referring to countries that turn back Syrian refugees.
"You close your doors. It's wintertime. There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and you're worried about the death of about 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000?" he asked.
Duterte took office June 30 after winning a presidential election in May. He has vowed to end corruption and drug abuse in the country of 100 million people.
Reports say that since Duterte took office, more than 3,000 people have been killed by police and vigilantes for alleged drug use or peddling.