"We can not use it for anti-insurgency because if it is used against the Filipino rebels, they will not sell it", the President said in a speech in Davao City on February 9.
The DND said the move is in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to cancel the 233-million-dollar-deal between the Philippines and Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company.
In connection with the cancellation of the contract with Bell Helicopter, Duterte has ordered the DND to look for other sources of helicopters and military equipment outside of Canada and the United States.
"It's intended use as combat utility helicopter is for the transport of troops especially combat casualties and for troop sustainment".
"The only use or the only utility, which is really inutility already, can use only for evacuation, nandiyan sa newspapers [it's in the newspapers], and assistance during disasters", he said. First, This is just a repeat order.
He said the government was shopping for helicopters precisely to be used to "finish" off violent extremists and insurgents threatening peace and order in the country.
"I hope that we will never be called upon to use arms in their defense or for them".
The Department of National Defense (DND) is now preparing the letter for the cancellation of the purchase of 16 Bell EPI combat utility helicopters (CUHs) worth PHP12 billion from Canada. A military official admitted that the helicopters would be used for internal security operations aside from disaster relief and search-and-rescue missions.
Upon learning the aircraft may be used against Filipino citizens, the Canadian government has ordered a review into the helicopter contract.
Earlier, the DND chief said that they are more than enough suppliers to meet the Philippine requirement for CUHs should the country's contract with Bell Helicopter and CCC fall through or be terminated.
The review of the contract stemmed from a Reuters report, which said that the military would also use the brand new choppers for its operations against the communist New People's Army (NPA).
"We are looking at (South) Korea, Russia, China and Turkey and other countries for the medium-lift helicopters in lieu of the Bell 412", Lorenzana said. "Why do they (Canada) raise that issue now?" asked Lorenzana, adding that the 16 Bell helicopters the Philippine military is buying are not attack helicopters "but a medium lift".