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

A model of a Bell 412 helicopter is display during the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday

A model of a Bell 412 helicopter is display during the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday

The helicopters, Bell said, were to be used for missions including disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte salutes customs police as he arrives to witness the destruction of a fleet of 20 used luxury cars and SUVs as part of the 116th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Customs in Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied: "Absolutely".

Roque was responding to the announcement of the Canadian government to review the deal amounting to $233.36 million or about P12 billion.

The Canadian government had chose to undertake a review of the agreement to sell 16 helicopters to the Philippines after speculations were raised that these would be used for counter-insurgency assaults.

"I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal, and somehow we will look for another supplier", Duterte said.

"(Canada government) said they will only sell (the helicopters) but only for evacuation and emergency. "And we will obviously review the facts and take the right decision", Champagne told reporters according to another Reuters report.

"We are going to make sure before this deal or any other deal goes through that we are abiding by the rules ... that Canadian governments have to follow", he said.

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But it is also the latest to spark concerns from human-rights and arms-control groups, who have previously raised red flags about recent Canadian arms deals with Saudi Arabia, Colombia and other destinations.

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

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

The Bell H-13 Sioux, a variant of the Bell 47, was the first helicopter to enter into service with the Philippine Air Force in 1955, Bell said.

Human rights groups have raised concerns over the proposed sale to the Philippines.

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".

"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.

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