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Duterte cancels helicopter deal with Canada, orders military to shop elsewhere
March 23 2018, 02:56 | Irvin Gilbert
PH gov't to seek other sellers if Canada refuses chopper deal
"And we will obviously review the facts and take the right decision", Champagne told reporters, without giving more details.
"If you can not use it against the terrorist or Filipino citizen, then prepare for the eventual collapse of this country", the President said.
"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.
Canadian media had reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government was reconsidering the sale over fears the aircraft would be used in internal security operations, just hours after both governments had announced the deal. Some military officials reportedly claimed the helicopters would be used for the military's internal security operations as well as search-and-rescue and disaster response operations.
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tried to reassure officials that the helicopters wouldn't be used to attack rebels. I hope that we will never called upon to use arms in their defense or for them. "We are neutral", Duterte said, without making clear if he was referring to Canada or the USA, his country's treaty ally, or both.
"It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know what exactly is happening in this 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. He is doing it also for his country.
But it is also the latest to spark concerns from human-rights and arms-control groups, who have previously raised red flags about recent Canadian arms deals with Saudi Arabia, Colombia and other destinations.
Duterte, who has overseen a crackdown that is said to have left almost 4,000 drug suspects dead, described Trudeau's comments as "a personal and official insult".
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.
"While some of such killings have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs, it is alleged that numerous reported incidents involved extrajudicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations", said Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. "You better clear that up because I will withdraw from the ICC".