The Marcos administration will do what it can to recover the government’s initial payment of P1.9 billion for the purchase of 16 units of Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopters from a Russian company.
This after the Duterte administration decided to terminate the contract that it signed for the military procurement worth P12.7 billion.
Asked if the government is confident it will be able to recoup the payment made to Russia, Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said: “I can’t answer that now. New DND officials have just started with their work.”
“As for the DND, especially the Contract Termination and Review Committee, it will exercise due diligence and will do everything that it can to at least come up with a solution to avoid a situation where we’re at the losing end,” Andolong added.
Earlier, former Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana said he was not sure if the initial payment can still be recovered.
“We don’t know if we could still get back the money since we are the ones who terminated the contract. It will take some time for the negotiations for us to get back the P2 billion,” Lorenzana said.
The chopper deal was signed under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2021.
It was, however, scrapped because of “changes in priorities necessitated by global political developments,” Andolong said.
Amid the invasion in Ukraine, the US said countries with major deals with Russia’s defense industry would be sanctioned economically.
A heavy-lift helicopter is a type of rotary aircraft capable of lifting large numbers of personnel or cargo.
The Mil Mi-17 is a Soviet-designed Russian military helicopter family in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude.
It has a crew of two pilots and one engineer, and is capable of transporting 24 soldiers or 12 stretchers internally.