MANILA -- The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday issued a notice to Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) terminating the contract for the supply and delivery of 16 units of Bell 412 Combat Utility Helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.

In a statement, DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong said this was in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive and pursuant to the Government Procurement Law (RA 9184) which authorized contract termination for the convenience of the government.

The move comes after the Canadian government ordered the review of the PHP12-billion deal between the DND and CCC after receiving reports that the Philippines is planning to use the helicopters against rebel forces.

"While the combat utility helicopters being purchased are primarily for the purpose of transporting personnel and supplies, the Department believes that it does not owe the Canadian government any justification for an outright purchase of equipment from a privately-owned company," Andolong said.

He also stressed that the DND would continue to pursue the modernization program, and would look into procuring the combat utility helicopters from other countries in lieu of the Bell 412. (PNA)