Reuters: ‘Duterte likens himself to Hitler’ CNN: ‘Duterte decries Hitler comparison’



We all would have been spared the brouhaha over President Duterte allegedly likening himself to Hitler if journalists, especially the two Reuters reporters who first reported it, just had some common sense, or didn’t have some yellow bias.

C’mon guys, who in this day and age would liken himself to Hitler and praise the genocide of millions of Jews? I’ve never heard any political leader liken himself to Hitler — not even mass murderers like Pol Pot and Suharto, not even lunatic dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The only people I can think of as being Hitler-lovers are redneck sociopaths or motorcycle gangsters with swastikas tattooed on their faces, or racist groups in the lunatic fringe such as the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, or the White Aryan Resistance.

Duterte certainly often acts and speaks like a street thug, and he is the first ever (and would probably be the last) President who would use the now notorious P-word to accentuate his speeches in public, and who would even encourage extrajudicial killings.

I don’t think, though, by any stretch of imagination, that he could be a fan of Hitler and his genocide against the Jews. Try to retrieve your common sense, guys. Hitler has been condemned so much — and proven by all historians — as a mass murderer by modern civilization, even by communists, especially because of his treacherous attack on the Soviet Union during the world war that cost that poor country 11 million lives, half of whom were innocent civilians.

Only lunatics would be fans of Hitler, or those as crazy as the ancient believers of the notion that the earth was flat.

Of course, the Yellow Cultists may even claim that Duterte is crazy. But if he were so, and they should produce more than an iota of evidence for this, if they do, then it is the most urgent issue facing us today, and every Filipino must now move to remove him from power, even by force.

Pause, guys, and breathe deeply, and think: Is Duterte one of the very few people in the world who are Hitler lovers, or is it just what the Yellow Cultists want us to believe, who jumped on an erroneous Reuters report that itself exploited his clumsiness in the use of metaphors and hyperbole?

Newspapers’ Oct. 1 and 2 issues: Are they reporting on the same country?

Newspapers’ Oct. 1 and 2 issues: Are they reporting on the same country?

The facts, indeed, show it’s another case of the foreign press’ misreporting Duterte’s statements, after that episode a few weeks ago when it was reported that he called President Obama a “son of a whore.” It turned out, though, that Duterte threatened to curse the US president, but only if he ever raised the human rights issue on his war against illegal-drugs (which Obama didn’t).

The P-word
That was also a “lost-in-translation” case one could expect from lazy foreign journalists, since it was clear that Duterte used the P-word not in reference to Obama, but as an interjection — Filipinos’ common use of the P-word to express anger or exasperation, in the way Americans use “fuck” to preface their sentences.

In this Duterte-loves-Hitler episode, however, Filipino correspondents of Reuters (the British news service) made this misleading report. So it’s not a case of not understanding the nuances of the Filipino language.

The Reuters dispatch had a lede (the first paragraph that usually summarizes the piece), that read: “Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday and said he would “be happy” to exterminate 3 million drug users and peddlers in the country.”

Note the word “appeared,” which means that the Reuters reporters were interpreting what Duterte said, not what he actually said. “Appeared” is a word (together with is relatives, “apparently,” “seems,” “seemingly,” etc.) often used by reporters to put words into the mouth of their subjects. There’s a risk there. Such paraphrasing sometimes accurately represents what the subject wanted to express, and in a succinct, clear way. But sometimes it is totally inaccurate, which is the case in the Reuters’ report on Duterte’s Hitler statements.

The Reuters’ report was headlined: “Philippines’ Duterte likens himself to Hitler, wants to kill millions of drug users.”

Contrast that to the more accurate CNN Philippines report on the same speech, which was headlined so differently as follows: “Duterte decries Hitler comparison, but ‘would be happy to slaughter drug addicts’.”

The CNN Philippines report read: “President Rodrigo Duterte lashed at his critics, whom he said were comparing him — unfairly — to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

‘Kaya kung ikaw nandito, bakit hindi ka magmumura? [If you were in my position, why wouldn’t you curse?] You’re portrayed or pictured to be some… a cousin of Hitler. And you do not even bother to find out, to investigate,’ the President said in a speech early Friday morning.

‘The tough-talking President then embraced the comparison, and said that if Hitler massacred millions of Jews, he would do the same to millions of drug addicts in the country.

‘Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three 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 as his thought trailed off.

Duterte added, ‘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,’ he said.”

What Duterte meant
What Duterte clearly meant was: “I’m sick and tired of being compared to Hitler. But Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews. I’ll be killing only criminals and drug addicts, and save the next generation of Filipinos from perdition.”

Why did the Reuters correspondents report it so wrongly? Probably in order to give their otherwise ho-hum report a spin that would make the agency’s editors in Singapore sit up, be used as banner stories by local newspapers with their by-lines, and ahem, earn kudos for them. It’s the old tabloid sensationalism.

It could also be the result of their weak common sense, mixed with a yellowish bias against Duterte, and a lack of understanding of the techniques of sarcasm and hyperbole.

It was the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who, during the campaign period pointed out how to “read” Duterte: “Mayor Duterte and I are alike. We are best friends because sometimes we descend to the level of hyperbole. You exaggerate what you are saying so it becomes more effective, you better catch the attention of listeners even if it’s not literally true.”

Reuters and other foreign wire agencies’ news-gathering systems make their inaccuracies so difficult to correct. It is SOP for a wire-agency editor to immediately transmit a story even if inaccurate as the Duterte-loves-Hitler or the Duterte-curses-Obama pieces to their bureaus around the world to get the reaction of officials in the concerned countries.

The problem, especially since we’re nobodies in the world, is that these officials don’t even bother to call Malacañang or the President’s spokesman to check if the reports they are asked to comment on are accurate. The reactions to the inaccurate report, in effect, repeat it again and again, as if it were true.

Also illustrative of that was the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s banner story yesterday, which screamed, “Rody‘s ‘Hitler’ reaps international censure,” telling the reader that Duterte did praise Hitler, and the world is angry. Never mind if the “Duterte-loves-Hitler” Reuters report had been proven wrong.

The news agencies’ editors would, of course, hesitate to correct their stories, as the officials would likely shout at them: “Why the hell did you give me a false story to comment on?”

It was solely the Philippine Daily Inquirer which banner-headlined Reuters’ inaccurate Duterte-loves-Hitler dispatch on Saturday, even using the wire-agency’s lede and several of its paragraphs.

It’s unusually huge banner headline for the story screamed: “Heil Digong.” If readers didn’t understand that headline, the paper’s subhead was “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…” And to make sure Duterte would be linked to Hitler in their readers’ mind, the Inquirer even had that iconic photo of Hitler with his fascist salute.

Has the Inquirer gone all out against Duterte this early?

But still, the Duterte-curses-Obama episode and this recent Duterte-praises-Hitler one should be lessons enough for the President’s inner circle to beg him to wear a muzzle, or to read prepared speeches verbatim and stop those ad-libs that have given him so much trouble.


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  1. C’mon guys, who in this day and age would liken himself to Hitler… why ask such a stupid question? Very clear as daylight. D glorifies the devil in words and in deeds.

  2. As usual, this crazy & lunatic Mr. Duterte is REALLY sick & CONTINUES to be sick w/ “Psychopathy” given his controversial statement liking himself to mass murderer Hitler. Let’s do something drastic (people power) before things get worst.

  3. A bunch of paid yellow media! manipulating their stories and headline banner just to put Duterte down at the expense of National Shame. It is given that Duterte speaks that way, but to deliberately twist and make it appear otherwise makes it very wrong. Especially that these reuters correspondents are fellow Filipinos. What a shame! Plus Inquirer the most trusted newspaper of the Yellow army since Binay, Corona, 3 senators and Now Duterte. Try reading commentaries of Monsod, Samonte etc, they are obviously under Aquino -Liberal- Yellow-oligarchs control

  4. So it is offensive to disparage the Jews but acceptable to kill 3 million Filipinos? It is easy to blame media, but shouldn’t Duterte think first before opening his foul mouth? After all, he speaks in behalf of 100 million citizens. How can you misinterpret someone who is supposed to be a straight talker? What you see and hear is what you get. Stop apologizing for this madman and let him take responsibility for his actions.

    • either you’re daft or just plain dumb … maybe even both … but one thing sure stands out – that you’re a liberal party fanatic …

  5. Frank A. Tucker on

    No country has EVER eliminated their drug problems by simply eliminating the addicts and dealers. It simply can’t be done, it’s a never ending vicious cycle.

    Best to research other countries and see how they are dealing with THEIR drug problems and then emulate them.

    WWJD ?

  6. The problem is some people don’t get the bottom of it……….. Digong would wish to solve the drug problem and would gladly kill 3Million drug addicts IF REQUIRED to SOLVE THE PROBLEM……

    For me.. I would gladly KILL 1 TRILLION PEOPLE if all of these are DRUG ADDICTS!!!! Diyos nga sa galit niya sa mundo, BINAHA tayo NOON ..during NOAH ARCH time!!! para LINISIN ang MUNDO Sa kasamaan!!!

  7. What if DU30 says I come into the presidency to put the Philippines on fire .. to make neighbor go against neighbor , parents against children, children against parents, brother against sister, sister against brother …… what would come into the minds of media?

  8. I have not seen a hyperbole figure of speech in President’s speech over his intention to kill ever since from the start of his administration. What I have seen are real numbers of people got killed by the police or Death Squad; Mr. President DU30 slogan to kill drug peddlers and users before and after the election is not a hyperbole: the killing is real to both accused of drug illegal possession and allegation.

  9. How I wish Mr Tiglao can be consulted by Duterte himself. Thank you Sir. In the eyes, ears and senses of the yellowtards, No amount of good things will ever come out from the mouth of The President. I ceased reading from these newspapers. Knowing how they twisted reports and gave their own conclusion.

  10. So it’d okay to slaughter 3 million Filipinos? Even as a joke, which it wasn’t, the comment about Jews at the very least was in poor taste. Let’s not apologize for him. He represents 100 million citizens who need some presidential to lead them. Dugong sadly fails the grade and Mr. Tiglao should stop rationalizing for him. For someobe whi prides himself as a straight talker, this is doublespeak. He said what he said; what you see is what you get.

  11. The problem with PDU30 is that he is very fond of cutting his speeches in the mid-portion and introduce an adlib which brought havoc on his prepared one, ergo nag-kakaroon nang mis-understanding. Dapat his coteries of advisers should point this out to him otherwise more harm will be done in the coming days if this trend of speeches will continue. Anyway lets just hope for the best.

  12. Bobbi Tiglao maraming salamat sa talas ng iyong pag-iisip at pluma! Dapat ganito ang aming nababasa mula sa Communication section ng Malacanyang! Ako po ay nagulat dahil ang tungkol kay Hitler ay nabasa ko sa The Guardian, noong suriin ko galing pala sa Reuters at Agence Press, di orihinal ng The Guardian, Drens, ikaw ang dapat sa Communication ng Digong, well rounded and experienced and isn’t many are at their 70s?

  13. Du30 is into China these days so he should watch the movie the Last Emperor, particularly the part when the tutor of the boy emperor of China portrayed by Peter O’toole was explaining to the boy that Scots wear kilts not skirts.

    When the boy emperor asked what’s the difference, O’toole’s character explained that it’s just a distinction of words perhaps but unless you learn to say what you mean, you will never mean what you say, and a gentleman always means what he says.”

    It seems Du30 and PDI are both confused about what they are saying.

  14. Only lunatics would be fans of Hitler! Mr. Tiglao, you may have inadvertently suggested by your piece that Mr. Duterte might just indeed be a lunatic!

  15. Problem with Duterte is that he thinks his audience is as dumb as the uneducated and low people in Davao he is used to entertain. He thinks he can just dish out insults to just about any body thinking that his listeners will just not take him seriously. He just thinks he is one smart alec who knows about everything. Fact is he knowledge on history is wrong and he simply does not care whether he offends other people. Indeed this Duterte will have a problem on how history will judge him long after his government ends after 6 years, or after he is removed forcefully.

  16. If people allows Duterte to play with fire he may end up burning the house down. Maybe inputs from medical experts is really a welcome solution because the man have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or diahrea of the mouth.

  17. Anyone who is “happy to slaughter 3 million people” – his exact words and in English language – is at best a mentally deranged psychopathic individual. Mr. Tiglao please do not try to defend the indefensible. You know full well that the rest of the civilized world and their citizens are shocked, appalled and sad or angry at a guy who is sees nothing wrong to dish out the death penalty for drug addicts. The Hitler comparison is just a sideshow to the whole horror scenario that unfolds in the Philippines. There is no other country in the world that prescribes the death penalty for drug addicts.

    • Singapore does have the death penalty for drug related offenses. So why aren’t you screaming the sh*& out ? You guys are not civilized but hypocrites… all just want to be politically correct.

      I saw this speech and i know he meant differently from what those fuc&*&% int’l media portrayed it to be. And please, he said he’d be happy to slaughter 3 million drug addicts & pushers, complete your quote. There is a big difference….

      There is no horror show here, its just like in America where the police shoot and kill ” innocent ” civilians….There is even more horror to what the West is doing to Syria, Irag, Afghanistan and will all your claimed civility, you cannot even stop all the killings there. So please don’t try to lecture us and take the moral high ground. Clean up the shit in your own backyard first.

    • Hey Dude! Did you experience living in the Philippines? I mean really staying here. Mr Tiglao is not defending the President at all, he is just stating that this are all dirty political tactics by Oligarchs who run this country. If the President really committed Extra Judicial Killings before then why he was allowed to run as a President? Why is there no one filed him a case when he is still a Mayor? Why did Human Rights activists didn’t show up before? You know why? because they have no proof and that is just a tale tell which was exaggerated. I think you haven’t spoke to ordinary people here in the Philippines yet, huh? From trike drivers, construction workers and all other common people, they felt safe and mostly they agree with the Presidents decision. Media right now, doesn’t do proper research they are either paid or been manipulated. You think criminals are human? think again they’re savage beast ready to take your life without mercy.

    • Ignacio Balbutin on

      yes, and now we are becoming a peaceful country because drug addicts and criminals were either hiding or surrendering to the police. We can now walk freely without fear. Corrupt officials were terminated and punished so what else do you want?

    • marunong ka ba mag analize ng mga words or ng whole sentence? sinabi ba ni DU30 na papatay sya ng 3million na inosenting tao? binabasa nyo kc mga yellowtards na dyaryo kaya ganyan na kayo makapag comments, for me i prepare to kill morethan 3millions drug addict kung puede lang para sa ikakaganda ng pilipinas, ganyan din ang gusto ng Pangulong DU30, cge nga hayaan mo itong mga addict at tingnan ko kung pati aso nyo di kakatayin sa harap mo na naging addict na rin, malliwanag po sa sinabi ni DU30 na si Hitler pumatay ng 6million, pero mga inosenting tao mga jews, at gusto nya gayahin pero magkakaiba cla ng style dahil kay digong mga masasamang tao like 3million Addict, kuha nyo?

  18. You just do not know who this guy is. He not an ordinary person. The doctor that diagnosed him concluded that this guy has a mental problem. I agree with you Mr Tiglao if he is normal and he was just misquoted but this guy does not feel sorrow and pain. Read the doctors recommendation and review.

  19. Leodegardo Pruna on

    It was the number (3,000,000) which is common to critics and PDU30. The critics made up mostly of the yellow cultists just couldn’t accept what is happening to them now. God bless the Philippines.

  20. well, just ignore them, the world will be use to it then.and will realize there mistake eventually. they will even copy the style of this President.

  21. If this’ what Mr. Tiglao thinks, well, he is entitled to his opinions just like the rest of us. Maybe I can agree to disagree with Mr. Tiglao that Dutere isn’t that stupid to idolize and liken himself to Hitler but every indications to everything that Duterte had said in the past which often infuriates the world, shows Duterte lacks the deep grasp and command of the word diplomacy.

    • Kale Alaskador on

      Mr. Tiglao’s explanation is very clear. People like you twists or omit words to give the statement an entirely different meaning to put the President in a bad light.

  22. @r.tiglao…a very well balance and fair approach for both side on the issue. hopefully, the whole world leaders will see his true and sincere intention of ending the narcotic problem that overwhelm the country. words are good for the soul but radical action is needed in order to avoid the sad outcome like the opium war in china a century ago.

  23. Mr. President, evrey time you open up your mouth and curse , you are losing your support from the very people that support you. You are voted overwhelmingly because the people are so tired of the things that is happening in the country. We perceived you as a GOD sent to institute changed, for no one I think can do this enormous wrong in this country to correct and change. Please Mr. President , please act as a beloved president, because we don’t like the yellows to rule over us again.

    • I agree, maybe he will change. Ther’s more pressing issues to be address, which is job creation. A lot of college graduates don’t have jobs. Stop micro-managing the anti- drug campaign. You made a lot of promises during your election campaign, how you gonna tackle those other problem if you spend all your time sensationalizing your anti drug efforts. Always bragging about the killings. Don’t you forget what goes around comes around.

  24. I hope prople pros or anti duterte will try to read him based on facts. And if you are familiar with all his badmouthing incidents there is no reason to argue. That duterte has mental problem. He is not fit to lead our country otherwise we will be go down the drains

  25. Journalists in general are professionals who are proud of their calling. What is sad is that while the police do police their ranks, the government officials/employees are disciplined by the ombudsman and sandigan bayan, the bias/arrogant/abusive/corrupt journalists are free to wreak havoc on their victims lives given the lack of control to this profession due to the “Freedom of the Press”. I believe it is only you Mr. Bobby Tiglao who tirelessly call out erring publications from their impunity. I hope more journalists would expose and condemn erring colleagues. It is time to bring back the prestige and honor of being called a journalist.

  26. The Reuters representatives in the Philippines are exactly like Rappler, they seems to enjoy misquoting personalities who are not yellows. These 2 are just like Philippine Daily Inquirer simply said.

  27. Then I for one will ask all Pres. Duterte supporters and to those who believed on his hard working attitude and new believers on Duterte who had seen results of his leadership to

    1. To stop buying enquirer nor reading its tabloids thy`re piece of garbage anyway destined for garbage can.

    • I already did that…halata kasi na YELLOWISH PAPER yang idiot na PDI…PDI is the yellowish media organization that help the yellowish lord to brain wash filipinos since Corry’s time.

  28. Hello…Cabinet Secretaries…wake up…Is the Philippine Daily Inquirer giving undue influence to Philippines politics.
    Is it really true that same newspaper is owned by a foreigner? Are the Pangilinan interest also foreign?

  29. I love and adore this writer, he can give us a very vivid picture to understand a certain issue that other writer can’t, i can comprehend clearly the essence of what he is driving at. Some journalist lacks the common sense. Mabuhay ka Mr. Tiglao.

  30. As long as there are many and alternate sources of information, facts will be easy to check, that’s it.

    The thing is not to lose sight of the urgent problems that beset the of the country, of which the present administration appears to be working hard to address.

    The distortions and disinformation from the affected elements are parts of the game – expect more to come. The government will just have to deal with them more carefully, and perhaps more forcefully.