In a speech earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will “accept refugees” — yes, Rohingya refugees — in the Philippines.
In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Saturday, Duterte said the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar are victims of “genocide.”
“That is really genocide, if I may [say] so,” he said.
After calling out the United Nations for failing to solve the refugee crisis, he said he will accept the refugees in his country.
“Me? We? I’m willing to accept refugees. Rohingyas, yes, I will,” the Philippine strongman declared, adding that European countries should also welcome the refugees.
Duterte made this statement after the Philippines voted against a draft UN resolution in November 2017 to aid the Rohingya Muslims who are being persecuted and abused by Myanmar’s own military forces. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have made their way to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries to escape violence.
While the Philippine president seems to have a soft spot for the refugees, his own war against illegal drugs in the Philippines has racked up thousands of casualties in his two years in the office. His controversial — and bloody — campaign against drugs has been called out by human rights groups around the world.