Despite Trudeau's human rights concern, Canada sells weapons to Philippines


President Rodrigo Duterte's order, issued in a news conference today, came after the Canadian government made a decision to review the $300-million helicopter deal due to concerns the Philippine military might use the utility helicopters in counter-insurgency assaults.

The government had initially said the Bell helicopters would only be used for search-and-rescue and disaster relief operations, and that the deal would support about 1,000 jobs in the Montreal area.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued the order at a news conference Friday in which he said that he respected Canada's position, but also lashed out against restrictions on the use of military equipment against terrorist and rebels.

The Philippine president on Friday ordered the cancellation of a multimillion-dollar deal to buy 16 helicopters from Canada and said purchases of USA arms should also be stopped because of too many imposed conditions, although he said he still supports President Trump.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque asserted that the Bell helicopters would be used to transport personnel and relief supplies during calamities as well as ferry wounded soldiers. 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.

Duterte, meanwhile, said he did not want to buy any "weapons of war" from Canada because "they will invariably be used against the rebels and the terrorists".

"The reason I'm buying helicopters is because I want to finish them off", Duterte added. You will never get it for as long as I am president.

Duterte said while he did not question Canada's logic, his logic was based on "reality on the ground".

"U.S., because of its too much imposition, but I assure you, I am supporting Trump", Duterte said. "He is doing it also for his country, people just don't understand him".

"(Canada government) said they will only sell (the helicopters) but only for evacuation and emergency.

Duterte, who has overseen a crackdown that has left almost 4,000 drug suspects dead at the hands of the police, later described Trudeau's comments as "a personal and official insult".

Trudeau said in November he had called out Duterte over "human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings".