MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he has ordered the military to cancel a $233 million agreement to purchase 16 helicopters from Canada, whose government expressed concerns they could be used to fight rebels.
“I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal, don’t proceed anymore and somehow we will look for another supplier. We respect the stand of Canada,” Duterte said in a televised briefing.
Duterte also directed the military not to buy arms anymore “from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached.”
The Philippines and Canada formally signed the helicopter deal on Tuesday. The following day, the Canadian government ordered a review, in response to comments to Reuters by Philippine Major-General Restituto Padilla that the helicopters would be used for operations against communist and Islamist rebels.
Canadian officials said they were concerned about possible human rights …