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PH issues notice to Canadian gov’t to scrap helicopter deal

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-installed officers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao City Chapter at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City on September 30, 2017, reiterates that he will enforce the law equally to any citizen in line with his intensified campaign against illegal drugs. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Philippine government has formally notified the Canadian government to scrap the contract of the P12-billion helicopter deal.

“The Department of National Defense has issued a notice to Canadian Commercial Corporation terminating the contract for the supply and delivery of sixteen units of Bell 412 combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force,” Defense spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong said in a statement on Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the deal last Friday due to the conditions imposed by Canada. The latter raised concerns on the review of the agreement of the purchase, amid concerns that these air assets would be used for insurgency.

Andolong said this is also pursuant to the government procurement law (RA 9184) which authorizes contract termination for the convenience of the government.

“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 for the justification for an outright purchase of equipment from a privately-owned company,” he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said they are looking at countries like China and Russia as new suppliers for the choppers.  /je

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