Duterte: Canada 'stupid' for raising rights concerns in helicopter deal
In a speech before the Filipino community in South Korea Sunday, Duterte once again called Canada “stupid” for raising concerns that the helicopters would be used for offensive missions against rebels.
Presidential Photo/Albert Frias

Duterte: Canada 'stupid' for raising rights concerns in helicopter deal

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 4, 2018 - 2:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — Months after he ordered a $233-million helicopter deal with a Canadian company cancelled, President Rodrigo Duterte is still angry at Canada over the botched deal.

In a speech before the Filipino community in South Korea Sunday, Duterte once again said Canada was "stupid" for raising concerns that the helicopters would be used against rebels.

"We ordered Bell helicopters from Canada. They said they will deliver the Bell helicopters but you cannot use [them] against your own citizen," Duterte said.

The Philippines was supposed to purchase 16 Bell 412EPI utility helicopters from Canada but Duterte scrapped the deal in February after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered a review over fears of human rights abuses.

READDuterte scraps helicopter deal with Canada

“How stupid can you... Why would you say that I cannot use it against my own citizens when there are citizens in my country who are trying to overthrow my government?” Duterte said.

The chief executive said that Filipinos are joining the New People’s Army and terrorist groups.

“They are fighting the government and killing my soldiers, my policemen and civilians. It’s a dirty war and the people are dying... My Moro brothers, on the other hand, joined terrorist forces and went to Marawi,” Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He said that the government might just acquire helicopters from South Korea.

Duterte first called Canada “stupid” over the helicopter deal last March.

“Look at how stupid the Canadians are, very stupid. They agreed to sell the helicopters. But when they were due to be delivered, they said, ‘Ah but you cannot use these for military or punitive actions by the police,’” he said in a speech during the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne earlier said the deal was first struck in 2012 on the understanding that the helicopters would be used for search and rescue.

CANADA RODRIGO DUTERTE
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