President Rodrigo Duterte's order, issued in a news conference, came after the Canadian government made a decision to review the 12 billion peso ($235 million) helicopter deal due to concerns the Philippine military might use the utility helicopters in counterinsurgency assaults.
He admitted that the government was buying helicopters precisely to advance the government's operations against local insurgents.
The government initially defended the deal, saying the helicopters would only be used for disaster relief and search-and-rescue missions, and that the sale would support upwards of 1,000 jobs in the Montreal area.
Duterte eventually canceled the plan after several senators threatened to block the sale over human rights concerns. "From the very onset, the contract has specified that we are acquiring a combat utility helicopter", he said.
The Canadian Commercial Corporation, which helps broker foreign military deals on behalf of the federal government, facilitated the agreement. The allegations relate to extrajudicial executions committed during the president's war on drugs, which has killed thousands. Freeland's office also circulated a photo of a similar helicopter painted red, blue and white.
International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne cited Padilla's comments as the reason the Liberal government launched its review. Philippines Major-General Restituto Padilla had said the helicopters would be used for the internal security operations against communist and Islamist rebels.
Last summer the Philippine air force used its older combat utility helicopters during intense fighting in the city of Marawi, a predominately Muslim city.
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"These are multi-purpose aircraft for anti-terrorism as well as HADR", he said, using military lingo that refers to disaster response and humanitarian missions.
Known for his impromptu decisions and public outbursts, Duterte declared in a nationally televised news conference in southern Davao city, his hometown, that he wants the helicopter deal, along with purchases of unspecified USA weapons, halted.
"I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal, and somehow we will look for another supplier", Duterte said.
Duterte said he has no issues with Canada's position on the helicopters but noted that the Philippines has its own needs.
"We respect their values".
The Bell H-13 Sioux, a variant of the Bell 47, was the first helicopter to enter into service with the Philippine Air Force in 1955, Bell said.