Philippines says Canada helicopters 'not for attack'

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The Philippine government can consider other sellers of military helicopters, if the Canadian government refuses to push through with the deal, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday.

"We respect the stand of Canada", he said during a media briefing Friday morning.

Canada has sold 16 combat utility helicopters worth $185 million to the Philippines air force. Some military officials reportedly claimed the helicopters would be used for the military's internal security operations as well as search-and-rescue and disaster response operations.

"If you can not use it against the terrorist or Filipino citizen, then prepare for the eventual collapse of this country", the President said.

Following the Canadian government's announcement that it is now reviewing its sale to the Philippine government of 16 Bell helicopters, Roque said: "If they don't want to sell, we may consider the prospect of procuring them from other sources". "We are neutral", Duterte said, without making clear if he was referring to Canada or the USA, his country's treaty ally, or both.

"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.

"U.S., because of its too much imposition, but I assure you, I am supporting Trump", Duterte said.

Trudeau said then that he raised concerns about human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in Duterte's anti-drug campaign during a meeting with the Philippine president. He is doing it also for his country.

The two governments announced the deal less than three months after Duterte and Trudeau clashed.

During Trudeau's official visit in the Philippines a year ago 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.

Bensouda has said in the past that she was deeply concerned about reports of the killings, and that statements by "high officials" in the Philippines "seem to condone such killings".

"There are many massacres now, in all parts of Asia ... and I'm the one you want to hit", Duterte said.