PHL terminates 16-helicopter deal with Canada

Today, February 13, the Department of National Defense (DND) has issued a statement saying it has terminated the contract for 16 Bell 412EPI combat utility helicopters with Bell Helicopter through Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).

“The termination was precipitated by the review ordered by the Canadian government on the implementation of the signed Contract Agreement between the DND and CCC,” the DND said.

CCC is a Crown corporation of the Government of Canada that supports trade for Canada by helping Canadian exporters access foreign government procurement markets through government-to-government contracting.

“While the combat utility helicopters being purchased are primarily for the purpose of transporting personnel and supplies, the Department believes that it does not owe the Canadian government any justification for an outright purchase of equipment from a privately-owned company,” the DND added.

“The Department will continue to pursue the modernization program, and will look into procuring the combat utility helicopters from other countries in lieu of the Bell 412,” DND said.

DND said the termination is “pursuant to the Government Procurement Law (RA 9184) which authorizes contract termination for the convenience of the government,” and in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President made the directive during a press briefing evening of February 9 in Davao City after the Canadian government said it will review the said contract.

“If we cannot use [weapons] against terrorists or Filipino citizens, then prepare for the eventual collapse of this country,” he said during the briefing. “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.