GROUP BLASTS US CHOPPER, MISSILE SALES TO DUTERTE
The International Coalition of Human Rights in the Philippines-United States chapter (ICHRP-US) has accused the Trump administration of throwing caution to the wind by approving the sale of nearly $2-billion worth of Apache and Viper helicopter gunships, hundreds of missiles and other war materiel to the Duterte government.
ICHRP-US spokesperson Drew Elizarde-Miller said the arms sales provide the Duterte regime with more weapons to pursue its counter-insurgency war in the Philippines and commit more human rights violations in direct reversal of the previous policy of rejecting arms sales to regimes with ugly human rights records.
The group noted the arms sales could have been the topic discussed during a recent call by Trump to Duterte rather than cooperation in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
ICHRP-US said the first sale, worth $450 million, includes six attack helicopters, six hellfire missiles, 26 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems, machine guns, rocket launchers, and other technical equipment, citing the principal contractors as Bell Helicopter and General Electric Co. The second sale, worth $1.5 billion, primarily contracted with Boeing and Lockheed Martin includes another six attack helicopters but multiplies other weapons requests by the hundreds, like 200 hellfire missiles and 300 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems.