Duterte to AFP: Discontinue helicopter deal with Canada

Duterte to AFP: Discontinue helicopter deal with Canada

However, the defense minister later clarified that the Bell 412EPI helicopters were mainly for transport, rescue and disaster response.

"They must not politicise the acquisition", said Major-General Restituto Padilla, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programmes of the Philippine armed forces.

"I'm buying helicopters because I want to finish them off", said Duterte, referring to Muslim and communist rebels along with Islamic militants in the country's volatile south.

The Canadian government is facilitating the sale of 16 helicopters to the Philippines military, which human rights groups have accused of killing civilians and committing other atrocities while waging a war on two rebel groups.

On Tuesday, the Philippines through Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana formally signed with Canadian Commercial Corporation, to purchase 16 helicopters.

"That is precisely why the minister ordered a review and that process will continue".

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

The helicopters are being procured for the Philippines Armed Forces in support of internal security operations.

Trudeau said during the November summit that he called out Duterte over "human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings".

The Filipino military also uses derivations of the Bell-UH-1H helicopter, which first saw service for the United States military in the Vietnam War in the early 1960s.

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".

Canada has very clear regulations about to whom it can sell weapons and how they can be used, he said during a question and answer event at the University of Chicago.

Trudeau, who raised human rights concerns to President Rodrigo Duterte past year, 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".

In 2016, the Liberal government was criticised for deciding to honour a contract to sell light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, despite human rights concerns.

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