PHL preparing cancellation letter for 16 Bell helicopters

The Department of National Defense (DND) is now preparing the letter for the cancellation of the purchase of 16 Bell 412EPI combat utility helicopters (CUHs) worth PHP12 billion from Canada.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday he will sign the letter anytime this week.

“The formal letter cancelling the contract is being prepared and I will sign it this week. We are looking at Korea, Russia, China and Turkey and other countries for our the medium lift helicopters in lieu of the Bell 412,” Lorenzana emphasized.

But he admitted that the cancellation will affect the DND project to acquire medium-lift helicopters as this has set the process “back to square one”.

The cancellation came in wake of the Canadian government’s move to review the deal after receiving reports that the Philippines is planning to use the helicopters against rebel forces, a claim strongly denied by the DND and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to order the DND and AFP to cancel the deal with Bell Helicopter and Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) which is licensed to manufacture the Bell 412 EPI being ordered by country. PNA