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WHAT WENT BEFORE: Canadian trash shipment

05:44 AM May 17, 2019

More than 100 containers loaded with tons of garbage arrived in Manila from Ottawa, Canada, between June 2013 and January 2014.

Chronic Inc. of the Canadian province of Ontario shipped the household trash—including plastic bottles and bags, newspapers and diapers—to the Philippines through Chronic Plastics Inc. of Valenzuela City.

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Bureau of Customs officials discovered the trash when they opened the containers in May 2015 and brought charges against Chronic Plastics owner Adelfa Eduardo and customs brokers Leonora Flores and Sherjun Saldon for breaking the customs code and violating the law prohibiting importation of toxic substances and nuclear waste.

On July 10, 2015, the contents of 26 of the 103 containers were disposed of on a landfill in Capas, Tarlac province, managed by Metro Clark Waste Management Corp.

Six days later, Metro Clark canceled the deal to accept the garbage after Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap asked it to stop the disposal of imported trash in the province.

On June 30, 2016, a Manila court ordered the importers to ship the garbage back to Canada.

At the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila in November 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government was dealing with legal barriers that prevented it from taking back the 2,500 tons of trash.

On June 30 last year, the Ombudsman filed graft charges against Environment Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna over the importation of the garbage.

The Ombudsman said its investigation showed that Cuna, as Environment Management Bureau chief then, issued six importation clearances to Chronic Plastics despite a notice of violation issued to the company for bringing in controlled waste.

On April 23, President Duterte threatened to forcibly ship the garbage back to Canada and dump some of it at its embassy in Manila if Canadian officials didn’t take the waste back.

Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the garbage would be shipped back to Canada on May 15. —INQUIRER RESEARCH

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Sources: Inquirer Archives, ottawape.dfa.gov.ph

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TAGS: Canada, Chronic Inc., Garbage, Ottawa
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