MANILA - Jordan will donate two attack helicopters to the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide confirmed Thursday.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said the two helicopters will be turned over to the Philippines in July 2019, when pilots have been trained.
Go said Jordan would also donate other equipment such as mortars, rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade.
The donation comes as the Philippines beefed up its military capability, eyeing new acquisitions including aircraft and a submarine from Russia.
The helicopters from Jordan had been the subject of Duterte’s previous speeches.
Duterte had said he was warned by Cabinet officials against hurling insults at former United Nations High Commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, a member of the Jordanian royal family, as the Philippines was then in talks with Jordan for the donation of the choppers.
Zeid, a member of the Jordanian royal family, earned the Duterte administration's ire after suggesting that the latter see a psychiatrist.
Malacañang has tagged Zeid as one of the reasons the Philippines withdrew its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court where Duterte is now facing complaints over killings under his drug war.
Duterte is currently in Jordan on an official visit. Go confirmed news about the chopper donation as Duterte was meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
During the visit, the Philippines and Jordan also signed deals on labor, foreign affairs, and trade.