Philippine President Benigno Aquino warned Saturday the frontrunner in the race to replace him carried similar dangers to Hitler and would bring terror to the nation.
Anti-establishment candidate Rodrigo Duterte is the favorite to win Monday’s election, with millions of Filipinos embracing his populist tirades, but Aquino and other critics have warned he is a dictator in the making.
Using a final election campaign rally to issue his harshest criticism yet, Aquino sought to draw parallels between the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Germany and what could happen under a Duterte presidency.
“I hope we learn the lessons of history. We should remember how Hitler came to power,” Aquino said at the rally in Manila for his preferred successor, fellow Liberal Party stalwart Mar Roxas.
“If you allow them to oppress your fellow man and you do not speak up, you will be the next one to be oppressed.”
Aquino repeated the famous quotes of Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken critic of Hitler and spent the last years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
“First they came for the communists, but I did not speak out because I was not a communist… finally they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me.”