Sale of Canadian helicopters to Philippine military prompts human-rights concerns

Sale of Canadian helicopters to Philippine military prompts human-rights concerns

Sale of Canadian helicopters to Philippine military prompts human-rights concerns

Bell Helicopter said the Philippine military would use the aircraft "for a variety of missions such as disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport".

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.

"If I can not use the gunship, the helicopter, then I might as well surrender this government to [the rebels]".

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.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during a talk at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, said that the Canadian government is "in the process of looking" into the deal.

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. I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal. and somehow we will look for another supplier.

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NDP foreign affairs critic Helene Laverdiere has added her voice to the chorus of concern, writing on Twitter: "How can Trudeau justify this deal with the Philippines when Duterte's government has plunged the country into a awful human rights crisis?" "We are neutral", Duterte said, without making clear if he was referring to Canada or the USA, his country's treaty ally, or both.

President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman warned Manila may walk away from the deal in light of the controversy.

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

Duterte said past investigations failed to turn up evidence that he ordered extrajudicial killings of specific people, although he acknowledged he has threatened to kill those who destroy his country's youth.

In November, Mr Trudeau raised the issue of human rights - and the ire of Mr Duterte - while in the Philippines for the Asean summit.

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