Champagne orders review of controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines

10 February, 2018, 02:54 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Champagne orders review of controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines

"(Canada government) said they will only sell (the helicopters) but only for evacuation and emergency. "You will never get it as long as we are president", he said.

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

"I am directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not to buy anymore (military equipment) from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached", Duterte said in a news conference in Davao City.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana tried to reassure officials that the helicopters wouldn't be used to attack rebels.

But a senior officer in the Philippines military, which has been accused of committing human-rights abuses in its war with local terrorists and rebels, admitted they would be used for internal security operations.

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


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.

Trudeau said in November he had spoken to Duterte about "human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings".

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

Duterte, who has overseen a crackdown that has left almost 4,000 drug suspects dead at the hands of the police, later described Trudeau's comments as "a personal and official insult", adding he would only answer to his Filipino electorate.

"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.

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. "You better clear that up because I will withdraw from the ICC".

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