Duterte Orders Bell Helicopter Deal Cancellation After Canada Raises Human Rights Issue
11 February, 2018, 05:35 | Author: Marjorie Miles
Though Canada has sold weapons to Philippines, the relationship between Trudeau and his counterpart Rodrigo Duterte was not all well in 2017.
Known for his impromptu decisions and public outbursts, the Philippine president declared in a nationally televised news conference that he wants the helicopter deal, and purchases of unspecified USA weapons, halted.
"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.
Following the Canadian government's announcement that it is now reviewing its sale to the Philippine government of 16 Bell helicopters, Roque said: "If they don't want to sell, we may consider the prospect of procuring them from other sources".
"I hope that we will never be called upon to use arms in their defence or for them".
"I want to tell the Armed Forces to cut the deal". The Associated Press reported the defense secretary did say the country was not afraid to look elsewhere for sellers, should the deal with Canada fall through. "You don't even investigate.", the Philippines President added.
The helicopters are being procured for the Philippines Armed Forces in support of internal security operations.
"It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know what exactly is happening in this country". He is a good president.
Asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied: "Absolutely".
Duterte, however, said they were to go after Maoist rebels.
Almost 4,000 mostly poor drug suspects have been killed in clashes with police, according to police officials, who say the suspects resisted violently.
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.
The worldwide criminal court revealed Thursday it has launched an initial inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Duterte.
"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. "The reason I'm buying helicopters is because I want to finish them off". "People just don't understand", said Duterte.
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