Palace: Philippine gov’t stand vs Canada’s trash non-negotiable
MANILA, Philippines – The stand of the Philippine government for Canada to take back its trash which were illegally shipped to Manila “is non-negotiable, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement as he warned Canada that it would risk its decades-old diplomatic ties with the Philippines if it does not take its garbage now.
“Our stand against its making our country a garbage bin of their waste is non-negotiable. It can not dilly dally on its getting them back. It must retrieve them pronto or we throw them back to its shores,” Panelo said in a statement.
“The 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries will be put to naught if Canada will not act with dispatch and finality the resolution of this undiplomatic episode to which we take outrage,” he added.
Canada on Wednesday said it was “strongly committed” to work with the Philippines on the trash issue.
Canada, however, did not say when it would take back its garbage, prompting Panelo to tag the statement as “vague.”
“We take note that its response is not appropriate to the strong statement we made against its throwing its garbage to our land,” he said in a statement.
He said Canada’s inaction of not taking the trash back to their country six years after it was sent to the Philippine was “offensive.”
“Its offensive act cannot be countenanced and any further discussion on the matter is unwelcome and unnecessary,” he said.
He slammed Canada for not apologizing over the issue.
“Not only has it not taken any decisive action on this arrant hostile demeanor, it has not likewise expressed regrets thereto,” he said.
“That it even considered performing such outlandish disposal of its garbage to an ally is dangerously disruptive of our bilateral relations,” he added.
In a situation briefing in Pampanga after the magnitude 6.1 quake that hit parts of Luzon, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare war on Canada if it would not take its trash back.
Between 2013 to 2014, the Bureau of Customs intercepted a total of 103 shipping containers loaded with mixed garbage from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics.” /muf
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