The Philippine defense chief says the military won't use 16 helicopters being bought from Canada to attack insurgents as feared by top Canadian officials, who ordered a review of the multimillion-dollar deal.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday the Philippine government could buy elsewhere if Canada decides to scuttle the sale of the Bell 412EPIs, which he said would be used to ferry supplies and troops, including those wounded in combat, and respond to disasters.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government decided to undertake the review due to concerns the Philippine military might use the helicopters in counterinsurgency assaults, according to news reports.

Trudeau said in Manila last year that he raised concerns about extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug crackdown during a meeting, remarks that angered Duterte.