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 Donald Trump.
Cesar Jaramillo of arms-control group Project Ploughshares, said Canada has already supported the military of a known human-rights abuser through the multibillion-dollar sale of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
"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. "If I can not use the gunship, the helicopter, then I might as well surrender this government to [the rebels]".
But International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne announced Wednesday he had ordered a review of the deal, which was finalized in December, after a senior member of the Philippines military said the aircraft would also be used in "internal security operations". "We can not use it for anti-insurgency because if it is used against the Filipino rebels, they will not sell it", he said.
The Canadian government is facilitating the sale of 16 helicopters to the Philippines military, which human rights groups have accused of killing civilians and committing other atrocities while waging a war on two rebel groups.
Duterte said while he did not question Canada's logic, his logic was based on "reality on the ground". "He is a good president".
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Duterte's friendly attitude toward Trump contrasts with his disdain for former U.S. President Barack Obama, who raised concerns about Duterte's anti-drug campaign.
But Trudeau's comment was not well accepted by Duterte.
Trudeau said during the November summit that he called out Duterte over "human rights, the rule of law, and specifically extrajudicial killings".
During Trudeau's official visit in the Philippines previous year for the 31st Association of South East Nations, he said that he "impressed upon" Duterte the need to respect the rule of law to combat illegal drugs.
"There are many massacres now, in all parts of Asia ... and I'm the one you want to hit", Duterte said.