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Normalized ties with Canada seen with return of its trash

TOKYO — Malacañang is optimistic that the Philippines’ “diminished” diplomatic ties with Canada will soon normalize once its trash is shipped back to Ottawa.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo quoted Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as saying that the garbage was set to be returned to Canada on Friday.

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“Hopefully that will happen since [the garbage issue] triggered the disrupted relations,” Panelo said on the sidelines of President Duterte’s meeting with the Filipino community here on Thursday.

In an interview with reporters, Panelo said he hoped that the recalled Philippine envoys to Canada would be able to return to their postings in Ottawa soon.

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“Most likely, but we don’t know yet when this will happen. Maybe when this is all over. Let’s ask Secretary Locsin about it,” he said.

Panelo added: “If the reason for [their] recall was the trash, then if the trash had been brought back, there’s no more reason [for their recall]. That’s the logic.”

Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who was appointed officer in charge of the government in Duterte’s absence, said that the scores of containers dumped in the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 would be shipped back to Canada.

Panelo said the scheduled return of the containers of trash had been set on Friday because of the delayed arrival of the ship that would transport the trash back to Canada.

He said he and Duterte—who had ordered the immediate return of the trash at the Philippines’ expense—have not yet talked about the pending retrieval of the trash.

“What is important is that the trash will be shipped and brought back to [Canada]. What is important to [the President] is that the trash is removed from our country,” Panelo said.

He said Malacañang also welcomes the fact that the garbage would be retrieved earlier than promised by Canada.

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“And the Canadian government will shoulder all the expenses from the time the trash is removed from our country [to its arrival in Canada],” Panelo said.

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TAGS: Canada, Duterte, normal ties, Panelo, trash
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