Philippines president orders cancelation of $233mn helicopter deal with Canada

Philippines president orders cancelation of $233mn helicopter deal with Canada

Philippines president orders cancelation of $233mn helicopter deal with Canada

"These (helicopters) are a real benefit to Filipinos", Canadian ambassador John Holmes said on the mission's Facebook page, adding it would boost Manila's "search and rescue and disaster relief capabilities".

"I am directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not to buy anymore (military equipment) from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached", Duterte said in a news conference in Davao City.

"If I can not use the gunship, the helicopter, then I might as well surrender this government to [the rebels]".

According to a report, the Philippines signed a deal with Canada on February 7 for the sale of 16 combat utility choppers worth $233.36 million, or roughly P12 billion pesos.

"I want to tell the Armed Forces to cut the deal".

"We are going to make sure, before this deal or any other deal goes through, that we are abiding by the rules and the expectations", he said.

"They are not attack or close support aircraft", he said.

Opposition parties and human-rights groups have called for the cancellation of the sale of light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia over concerns they would be misused.


Mr Trudeau told journalists that he spoke with the Mr Duterte about concerns related to extrajudicial killings linked to the president's war on drugs.

"Not at all. They are purely for utility purposes - ergo, transport purposes especially during HADR operations", he said, using a military term for disaster response.

The Philippine defence department acquired eight of the same Bell aircraft model in 2015, which it said went mostly to an air force unit assigned with providing air transport for the Philippine president.

NDP foreign affairs critic Helene Laverdiere has added her voice to the chorus of concern, writing on Twitter: "How can Trudeau justify this deal with the Philippines when Duterte's government has plunged the country into a awful human rights crisis?"

Duterte, who has overseen a crackdown that is said to have left almost 4,000 drug suspects dead, described Trudeau's comments as "a personal and official insult".

Duterte said past investigations failed to turn up evidence that he ordered extrajudicial killings of specific people, although he acknowledged he has threatened to kill those who destroy his country's youth.

The Philippine government says police only shot the suspects in self-defence and rejects human rights monitors' description of the crackdown as a crime against humanity.

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