MANILA - The Department of National Defense (DND) will review the Philippines’ planned procurement of military helicopters from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Malacañang said on Friday.
The statement came after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the multibillion-peso deal with the Russian government would still push through despite the country's denouncement of Russia’s actions on Ukraine.
"The procurement of these equipment falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Defense, they will be reviewing this matter vis-a-vis what is happening now in Eastern Europe,” Palace acting deputy spokesperson Michel Ablan said in a press briefing.
Citing Lorenzana, the state media this week reported that the country has acquired some P12.7 billion Russian-made Mil Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopters, and a contract was signed in November.
A downpayment of an undisclosed amount has already been made, the report added.
The Philippines earlier voted in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution that demanded for Russia to stop its attack on Ukraine.
The Palace, meanwhile deferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs questions on reports that President Rodrigo Duterte will allow US forces to use Philippine military bases if the Ukraine-Russia crisis "spills" to Asia.
“We will wait for the official statement of the DFA,” Ablan said.