Manila, Philippines, MINA — The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at China, South Korea, Russia and Turkey as alternative suppliers of helicopters for the military after President Duterte scrapped last week the $233-million aircraft deal with Canada.
Duterte ordered the military to shop for helicopters elsewhere after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered a review of the contract over human rights concerns.
“There will be a delay in the helicopter procurement because we are back to square one,” The Star reported, citing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Monday.
Lorenzana said the DND is looking at procuring aircraft from China, South Korea, Russia and Turkey.
We are eyeing other countries for the medium lift helicopters in lieu of the Bell 412,” he said.
Lorenzana said he would sign this week the letter officially scrapping the contract with Canada for the purchase of 16 Bell 412 combat utility helicopters, which was supposed to be delivered early next year.
The President directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines to find another supplier for the helicopters.
Canada ordered a review of the contract after receiving information that the helicopters might be used to intensify the Duterte administration’s anti-insurgency operations.
The DND, however, said the helicopters would be used for the military’s internal security operations as well as search and rescue during disasters.
PNP gets 20 vehicles from Japan
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday received 20 patrol cars from the Japanese government.
President Duterte witnessed the turnover of the Mitsubishi cars along with Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda at Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. in Cebu City.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the vehicles would be distributed to police stations in Central Visayas to boost the campaign against drugs and other crimes.
Also present during the turnover were Police Regional Office 7 director Chief Supt. Robert Quenery and Director Jose Maria Victor Ramos, head of logistics. – Cecille Suerte Felipe (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)