PH gov't to seek other sellers if Canada refuses chopper deal

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"(Canada government) said they will only sell (the helicopters) but only for evacuation and emergency.

"The president's troubling comments only underscore the confusion and contradictions that have emerged recently on the intended end use of the helicopters", said a spokesperson for Champagne on Friday.

"I want to tell the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to cut the deal".

"I am directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not to buy anymore (military equipment) from Canada or from the United States because there is always a condition attached", Duterte said in a news conference in Davao City.

Earlier, Canada ordered a review of the deal and expressed concern the helicopters might be used to fight rebels and drug smugglers.

But then Reuters reported that Philippine Major-General Restituto Padilla, military chief of plans, told the publication the helicopters would be used for the military's internal security operations and possibly the missions Bell mentioned.

"These are multi-purpose aircraft for anti-terrorism as well as HADR", he said, using military lingo that refers to disaster response and humanitarian missions.

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Duterte said while he did not question Canada's logic, his logic was based on "reality on the ground". The country is also regularly battered by typhoons.

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.

Trump visited the Philippine capital, Manila, in November to meet Duterte and attend an annual summit with Asian and Western leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Duterte, who has overseen a crackdown that is said to have left almost 4,000 drug suspects dead, described Trudeau's comments as "a personal and official insult".

A prosecutor in the International Criminal Court, or ICC, announced Thursday that she was opening a preliminary probe into alleged crimes by Duterte in connection with the war on drugs.

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

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