DND issues notice to terminate $233.36-million contract for combat choppers with Canadian company

(Eagle News) — The Department of National Defense on Tuesday officially issued a notice terminating the $233.36 million contract with a Canadian company for the procurement of combat utility helicopters.

In a statement, the DND said the notice terminating the agreement for 16 units of Bell 412 combat utility helicopters  was issued to Canadian Commercial Corporation.

“The termination was precipitated by the review ordered by the Canadian government on the implementation of the signed Contract Agreement between the DND and CCC,” the DND said.

The directive for the review was issued amid concerns the helicopters would be used against rebels in the country.

The DND added the termination was in “pursuant to the Government Procurement Law (RA 9184) which authorizes contract termination for the convenience of the government,” and in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, who also confirmed the aircraft would be used against the communist rebels whom he declared as terrorists last year.

“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,” the DND said.

The DND said that it will “continue to pursue the modernization program, and will look into procuring the combat utility helicopters from other countries in lieu of the Bell 412.”