Duterte plans to buy Bell choppers from SoKor

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DAVAO CITY (June 4) –- After cancelling the USD234-million Bell chopper deal with the Canadian government last February,  President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday said, the government is now considering  to buy helicopters  from South Korea.

Speaking before the Filipino community in  Grand Hilton Hotel,  Seoul, South Korea Sunday, Duterte said “I went here, I’m trying to, the day after tomorrow, to buy helicopters for… we can look here in South Korea,”

The Philippine government is considering the purchase of Bell helicopters  to boost the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

It earlier ordered 23 helicopters from Canada, but he changed his heart after he felt uncomfortable with the conditions which states that the choppers should not be used for combat operations.

“You know, originally we had them. We ordered Bell (helicopters) from Canada. They said they will deliver Bell helicopters but you cannot use it against you own citizens,” the President said.

The Canadian government  emphasized said the choppers should be used only for “air ambulance”.

 Duterte said the Philippines has to protect its citizens from enemies of the state.

“My citizens are joining the New People’s Army, the communists, and they are fighting (against the) government and killing my soldiers and my policemen and civilians. It’s a dirty war and the people are dying,” he explained.

Duterte said the country is also facing a problem on terrorism, which, he predicted, would remain in the next 10 to 15 years.

Aside from fighting terrorism and criminality, he vowed to continue his war on drugs and his campaign against graft and corruption.

“I said only four. Corruption and I’m doing it. I said illegal drugs and criminality. And talk to the enemies of the state to seek peace,” he said.

Duterte said his government has already been talking with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front, as well as with the New People’s Army, particularly with communist leader Jose Maria Sison.-Editha Z. Caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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