The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) belied claims that the helicopters to be purchased from Canada will be used to fight communist rebels.
The AFP clarified that the Philippine government is set to buy “utility helicopters and not attack helicopters.”
AFP’s deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, Major General Restituto Padilla, in a text message to GMA News on Thursday, made it clear that the purpose of the 16 helicopters is to improve the performance of the government in responding to humanitarian and disaster needs.
He said that the aircrafts would also be used in transporting wounded and killed soldiers in action from problematic areas where there are engagements with rebels.
Amid issues that the aircrafts will be used to attack rebels, the Canadian government on Wednesday ordered a review of the $233 million agreement to sell helicopters to the Philippines, just a day after it was signed.
Padilla said that the use of the helicopters should not be blown out of proportion because the government is “not buying an offensive aircraft.”
(DAILY NEWS ROUND UP FOR 02/ 08 /18)