Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he has ordered the military to cancel a US$233 million agreement to purchase 16 helicopters from Canada, whose government expressed concerns they could be used to fight rebels. I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal. and somehow we will look for another supplier.
The Philippines employs attack helicopters and planes to support ground troops battling militants in the south, as well as against communist guerrillas in other parts of the Asian nation.
At one point during the briefing, Duterte asks someone in audience how many helicopters his country is buying from Canada.
"They will be used to transport personnel, supplies, humanitarian missions, ferrying of wounded, injured soldiers and other forms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response", Roque said.
International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is ordering a review of the planned sale of 16 412EPI helicopters to the Philippine military amid concerns about the country's human rights record.
Gen. Restituto Padilla, chief of plans at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the helicopters would be used for internal security operations apart from deployment in search-and-rescue and disaster relief missions.
Duterte also hinted that Canada should no longer expect the Philippines' help in times of trouble as long as he is president.
Duterte said that he can not guarantee that the helicopters will not be used in combat operations in the future.
"That is precisely why the minister ordered a review and that process will continue".
Human rights groups have raised concerns over the proposed sale to the Philippines. He also mentioned his support for U.S. President Donald Trump, whom he met during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting a year ago. He said they would review the facts and take the "right decision". He is doing it also for his country.
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.
Trudeau said in November he had called out Duterte over "human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings".