President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to cut the 16-helicopter deal with Bell Helicopter through Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). The President made the directive during a press briefing evening of February 9 in Davao City.
Duterte said the country will look for another supplier. He noted he is respecting the position of Canadian government which ordered the review of the said helicopter deal.
“From here on now, I am directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines since most of the guns, bullets, and whatever weapons of war – gagamitin naman talaga against rebels and terrorists – do not buy anymore from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached,” the President said.
“If we cannot use [weapons] against terrorists or Filipino citizens, then prepare for the eventual collapse of this country,” he said. “If I cannot use a gunship, a helicopter then I might as well surrender this government to them.”
“This is a direct order, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police, no more buying of arms from Canada,” the President said.
He also included US “because of its too much imposition.” However, Duterte said he is supporting US President Donald Trump.
Duterte said the reason he wants to buy helicopters is he wants to finish the enemies of the state. He said he will not allow buying of helicopters just to be used for transporting dead soldiers.
AFP Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Plans Major General Restituto Padilla earlier said Bell Helicopter and CCC know that the 16 helicopters will be designated a combat utility helicopters.
“The AFP deal for the acquisition of the Canadian Bell 412 as a combat utility helicopter is a very transparent one. From the very onset, the contract has specified that we are acquiring a combat utility helicopter (CUH),” he said.