Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Duterte orders military to cancel helicopter deal with Canada

Duterte orders military to cancel helicopter deal with Canada

This was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's armed forces modernization program.

The Philippine defence department signed the 12- billion-peso (US$234.8 million) Bell 412EPI deal with the state-run Canadian Commercial Corp, with deliveries set to start in nine months, ministry spokesman Arsenio Andolong told AFP.

The Philippine military yesterday denied it planned to use 16 Bell helicopters bought from Canada as attack aircraft against local insurgents, following reports Ottawa was reviewing the deal.

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".

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.

Those include extrajudicial killings, the destruction of homes, unlawful arrests and other alleged violations.

Bern Jagunos, who wrote the letter on behalf of the coalition, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday that Freeland never responded.

"We are concerned", Jagunos said.

"The reason I'm buying helicopters is because I want to finish them off", he said.

They accuse President Rodrigo Duterte of human rights abuses and carrying out unlawful killings amid his anti-drug campaign.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, talks to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on November 13.

The helicopter deal with the Philippines, he said, represents yet another example.

Trudeau, who raised human rights concerns to President Rodrigo Duterte a year ago, replied: "Absolutely".

"The fact that Canadian equipment is making its way to the Philippine military raises serious questions about the effectiveness of Canada's exports controls-and about potential Canadian complicity, however unintended, in instances of human rights violation".

Like this: