Duterte Orders Bell Helicopter Deal Cancellation After Canada Raises Human Rights Issue

Posted February 10, 2018

The Canadian Commercial Corp., whose role includes selling military goods to other countries on behalf of the government, says the Philippines agreed to buy the Canadian-made Bell helicopters at the end of December.

"We respect the stand of Canada", Duterte said.

"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.

Asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied: "Absolutely".

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. "We can not use it for anti-insurgency because if it is used against the Filipino rebels, they will not sell it", he said.

The government in Ottawa earlier expressed concerns the helicopters could be used to fight rebels.

Duterte said while he did not question Canada's logic, his logic was based on "reality on the ground".

Trudeau said then that he raised concerns about human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in Duterte's anti-drug campaign during a meeting with the Philippine president.

"I assure you, I am supporting Trump". The country is also regularly battered by typhoons. He said they would review the facts and take the "right decision".

Philippine troops and police, beset by Islamist and communist insurgencies, fought a five-month battle past year against Islamic State group supporters in the southern city of Marawi.

The two governments announced the deal less than three months after Duterte and Trudeau clashed.

Almost 4,000 mostly poor drug suspects have been killed in clashes with police, according to police officials, who say the suspects resisted violently.

Duterte, a former city mayor who built a political name with his extra-tough approach to crime, has denied condoning unlawful killings but has openly threatened drug suspects with death and cursed people who criticize his anti-crime methods.