Sunday, 18 February, 2018

Champagne orders review of controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines

Minister of International Trade Francois Philippe Champagne announced Wednesday that he had ordered a review of the helicopter deal after a senior member of the Philippine military said the aircraft would also be used in “internal security operations Champagne orders review of controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines
Faye Gross | 12 February, 2018, 01:36

This was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's armed forces modernization program.

Canada said it would review the sale, including on human rights grounds, after Philippine Major-General Restituto Padilla told Reuters the helicopters would be used for the military's internal security operations.

"When we saw that declaration ... we immediately launched a review with the relevant authorities".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, replied "Absolutely". The Associated Press reported the defense secretary did say the country was not afraid to look elsewhere for sellers, should the deal with Canada fall through.

He added that the Canadian government will make sure any deal entered into by the their government are "abiding by the rules and expectations that are not just values, but actual rules that the Canadian government has to follow".

But Trudeau's comment was not well accepted by Duterte.

Almost 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by police in the campaign since June 2016.

Human-rights and arms-control groups have accused the Philippine armed forces of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities in their fight against Islamic militants and communist rebels.

Omarosa Manigault Hospitalized After Injury In Celebrity Big Brother House
" Omarosa was sacked three times on the "Apprentice" and this was the fourth time we let her go", Shah said. When Mathews asked her if USA citizens should be anxious , she nodded, adding, "It's not going to be OK".


"Human rights is a key element of our foreign policy and of our trade policy", said Champagne.

Mr Trudeau told journalists that he spoke with the Mr Duterte about concerns related to extrajudicial killings linked to the president's war on drugs.

"They are not attack or close support aircraft", he said.

According to a report, the Philippines signed a deal with Canada on February 7 for the sale of 16 combat utility choppers worth $233.36 million, or roughly P12 billion pesos.

In 2014, the Philippines also bought eight Bell 412 helicopters from Bell Helicopter.

He said if he can not use the equipment against locals "contaminated" by ISIS, he might as well "surrender the government" to them.

"President Duterte's government has achieved global notoriety for its blatant disregard of basic human rights and its systematic threats against human rights activists", Jaramillo said in an email.

"They will be used to transport personnel, supplies, humanitarian missions, ferrying of wounded, injured soldiers and other forms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response", Roque said.

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