“Malinaw po ang dahilan kung bakit natin gustong bumili ng Bell helicopters. Ito po ay gagamitin para transportasyon ng personnels, supplies, humanitarian missions, ng mga ferrying of wounded and injured soldiers and other forms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said on February 8 after the Canadian government said it will look into the 16-helicopter deal between Bell Helicopter and the Department of National Defense (DND).
“We purchased helicopters, if they don’t want to sell, well we may consider the prospect of procuring them from other sources,” he added.
Canada Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said before the House of Commons of Canada on February 7 that she received no export application permit for the said contract.
“The Prime Minister and I have been very clear about the Duterte regime’s human rights violations and extrajudicial killings including while in the Philippines. I will conduct an extremely rigorous human rights analysis of any potential export permit application related to this contract,” she added.
“I have the power to deny a permit if I feel that it poses a risk to human rights and I am prepared to do so,” Freeland said.
Sources: https://globalnews.ca/news/4011934/feds-order-review-of-controversial-helicopter-deal-with-the-philippines/; https://pcoo.gov.ph/press_briefing/press-briefing-presidential-spokesperson-secretary-harry-roque-8/