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Philippines president orders cancelation of $233mn helicopter deal with Canada

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he has ordered the military to cancel a $233 million agreement to purchase 16 helicopters from Canada. The government in Ottawa earlier expressed concerns the helicopters could be used to fight rebels. “Somehow we will look for another supplier. We respect the stand of Canada,” Duterte said. He also directed the military not to buy arms anymore “from Canada or from the US because there is always a condition attached.” Philippines Major-General Restituto Padilla had said the helicopters would be used for the internal security operations against communist and Islamist rebels. However, the defense minister later clarified that the Bell 412EPI helicopters were mainly for transport, rescue and disaster response.