By Daniel Franklin E. Pilario, CM

[I first wrote this on December 7, 2016 at the height of Duterte's popularity when millions were cheering, but also at the height of extrajudicial killings in Payatas when many widows and orphans were weeping. I could not make sense of the great dissonance. Of course, I got hundreds of trolls who attacked me for this; some of them my personal DDS friends. I re-edited this piece when Duterte visited the Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial three years ago today (September 4, 2018). But since the "Notes Section" of FB was deleted, I re-publish it here now when the International Criminal Court is about to begin its investigation on his crimes against humanity in the name of the thousands of victims of this violent regime. ~Danny Pilario]


Today, I had a crazy idea. What if I compare some Hitler quotes from his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and some parts in Duterte’s speeches? The idea did not just come down from the clouds. It was Duterte himself who likened himself to Hitler in one of his speeches two months ago. I am just curious what the results would be. I am aware that this is not a serious academic study. I was just reading Mein Kampf looking for some parallels. Who knows it would bear us some enlightening conclusions that would hopefully make sense of our disturbing situation.

"Mein Kampf" is incoherent and rambling; it just goes on and on. Hitler’s arguments are not well supported. He presumes a lot of things without explaining their reasons (why the Jews are bad; why the Aryans are a superior race, etc.). It seems “to preach to the converted”, that is, people who were expected to approve or applaud without thinking. I have also listened enough to many long and rambling speeches of Duterte and it is not very different.

The reader can continue the comparisons. Let me mention what I got in a cursory reading.


— “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.” ~ Hitler

— “If you want to become an effective president, then you should not be afraid to die or kill… If you’re afraid of dying or killing, then just don’t run for president.” ~ Duterte (12 December 2015)


— “If you win, you need not have to explain… The victor will never be asked if he holds the truth.” ~ Hitler

— “I do not have to explain to you, the whole republic and the critics, why I made the order for him (PNP chief) just to sit down and do not remove him (Marcos).” ~ Duterte on reinstatement of Superintendent Marvin Marcos found guilty by NBI of assassinating Mayor Espinosa (5 December 2016).


— “Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.” ~ Hitler

— “If it involves human rights, I don’t give a sh*t.” – Duterte (17 October 2016); “Human rights is always the anti-thesis of government.” ~ Duterte (30 September 2016)


— “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” ~ Hitler

— “You destroy my country, I'll kill you. And it's a legitimate thing. If you destroy our young children, I will kill you. That is a very correct statement.” ~ Duterte (17 October 2016)


— “The art of leadership… consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention… The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.” ~ Hitler

— “There will be no let-up in this campaign. 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. Let me repeat my warning to all: Do not do drugs because you will be the solution to the drug crisis that has engulfed the nation.” ~ Duterte (State of the Nation Address, 25 July 2016)


— “There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons, and the word 'council' must be restored to its original meaning. Surely every man will have advisers by his side, but the decision will be made by one man.” ~ Hitler

— “Ito sila they just pretend that they advise me, sa totoo lang. Maniwala ka. Magtanong ka dito sa Davao. Pati ‘yang political strategists ko, akin lahat ‘yan. Walang gumagawa sa akin.” (They just pretend that they advise me, that's the truth. Believe me. Ask anyone in Davao. Even my political strategists, it's all my idea. No one does it for me.) ~ Duterte on his appointments of cabinet posts (24 May 2016).


— “Who says I am not under the special protection of God?”… “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” ~ Hitler

— “I tend to believe now, that it was God who gave it [the Presidency] to me.” (Batanes, 15 October 2016) ~ Duterte after 100 days.


On 30th September 2016, Duterte said: “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts... I'd be happy to slaughter them.”

People were in a quandary to explain this pronouncement. After worldwide protests, he asked pardon from the Jewish community. His apologists came to the rescue the day after. The presidential spokesperson then, Ernesto Abella, defended him in a most creative and curious manner. Duterte, he said, intended an “oblique conclusion” (though I do not really know what oblique conclusion means): “that while the Holocaust was an attempt to exterminate future generations of Jews, the so-called ‘extrajudicial killings’, wrongly attributed to him, would save the next generation of Filipinos from this problem.”

I was just thinking, the above quote parallels can lead us to some more logical and realistic conclusions. And if you continue comparing, both sources would yield more parallels.


When I posted this the first time, two well-known academic commented very negatively. One wrote me: "You are crazy!" He later relented and "saw the light", and spoke differently. The other continued in his ways.

The gospel today tells this story: "People brought to Jesus a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, said to him,

“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —

And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7: 31-37)

Daniel Franklin E. Pilario, CM
St. John's University
New York

December 7, 2016
September 4, 2018
September 4, 2021