Philippine president orders military to scrap helicopter deal with Canada
12 February, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
But Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana clarified on Thursday that the helicopters made by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, will be used for humanitarian operations.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte salutes customs police as he arrives to witness the destruction of a fleet of 20 used luxury cars and SUVs as part of the 116th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Customs in Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.
"These are multi-purpose aircraft for anti-terrorism as well as HADR", he said, using military lingo that refers to disaster response and humanitarian missions.
Duterte ordered to scrap the 233-million-dollar deal after Canada ordered a review of the deal and expressed concern the helicopters might be used to fight the rebels.
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The Canadian government had chose to undertake a review of the agreement to sell 16 helicopters to the Philippines after speculations were raised that these would be used for counter-insurgency assaults.
"That is precisely why the minister ordered a review and that process will continue".
While Duterte says he respects Canada's position, he also opposes any condition that would restrict using the helicopters in fighting terrorists and communist rebels inside his country. "And we want the government to look into that to see if the helicopters are indeed being used in combat that are harming and killing civilians".
He added that the Canadian government will make sure any deal entered into by the their government are "abiding by the rules and expectations that are not just values, but actual rules that the Canadian government has to follow".
"President Duterte's government has achieved global notoriety for its blatant disregard of basic human rights and its systematic threats against human rights activists", Jaramillo said in an email. It became an issue of human rights, as Canada is afraid the 412s would be used against Filipino citizens.
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