Duterte has ordered the cancellation of the deal when Canada announced it is imposing a review of the deal on suspicion that the helicopters might be used in the Philippine military's counter-insurgency operations.
The Philippines officially terminated on Tuesday a multimillion dollar helicopter deal with Canada. Canada, however, ordered the review of the agreement following reports that the helicopters would be used for operations against communist guerillas and Islamist fighters. "The formal letter cancelling the contract is being prepared and I will sign it this week", Lorenzana said.
Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the deputy chief of staff for planning for the Philippine Armed Forces, told BenarNews earlier that the helicopters would not be used in the government's anti-insurgency campaign in troubled areas of the country such as Mindanao in the south, but would be tapped primarily for humanitarian missions. "From the very onset, the contract has specified that we are acquiring a CUH", he added.
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"It's intended use as combat utility helicopter is for the transport of troops, especially combat casualties and for troop sustainment". It is not an offensive platform and not armed as such. But as of the time of the writing of this piece, it looks like the deal is all but dead.
"Wrong (information) or not I think there is malice in the way it is being raised". On the Canadian side, as Lorenzana correctly noted, since this was a repeat order rather than a strictly new acquisition, and the Canadian government had quickly announced a review of the deal following domestic outcry rather than advocating a position on the issue at the outset, it made it clear that this was not something done out of considered respect for global principles but was rather just bowing quickly to domestic politics. Why do they raise that issue now? Meaning pang hakot ng tao, supplies. How we use it is none of their business.
Lorenzana said the Bell helicopters are not attack or close support aircraft. Representing Bell Helicopter in the contract signing was James Williamson and Yvonne Chin, CCC Director for Asia.
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"The AFP deal for the acquisition of the Canadian Bell 412 as a combat utility helicopter is a very transparent one".
First, should this occur as expected, it would no doubt be a blow for the Philippines' ongoing military modernization (See: "Where is the Philippines' Air Force Modernization Under Duterte?").
Generally, these helicopters are capable of carrying 14 passengers and flying at a maximum speed of 140 knots (around 259 kilometers), cruise speed of 122 knots (226 kilometers per hour) and a range of 402 nautical miles (745 kilometers).
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