President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the government is now eyeing to recover some of the downpayment it made to Russia for its cancelled P12.8 billion helicopter procurement deal.
In an ambush interview last Thursday, Marcos told reporters efforts are now underway to secure some of the P1.9-billion initial payment made by the previous administration last January to buy 16 Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopters.
“We are hoping to negotiate to get at least a percentage of that back,” Marcos said.
Russian Ambassador Marat Pavlov said some of the downpayment was already used for the production of the Mi-17 helicopter.
Former President Rodrigo R. Duterte decided to scrap the chopper deal due to the economic sanctions issued by the United States against Russia for its unprovoked attack against Ukraine.
Last August, the Department of National Defense announced it is already “formalizing” the said cancellation of the said deal.
Marcos said he decided to affirm the decision of Duterte on the matter and scrap the procurement agreement altogether.
“It was already determined by the previous administration that that deal will not carry through,” Marcos said.
He also noted that the country will instead buy helicopters from the United States.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez earlier said the government may consider buying Chinook helicopters from the US.
Image credits: Robinson Niñal/Office of the Press Secretary