Duterte moves to forcibly send garbage back to Canada

23 Mai, 2019, 00:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Senator Cynthia Villar takes the stage during a campaign sortie in Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan

The Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his government to hire a private shipping company to send 69 containers of garbage back to Canada and leave them within its territorial waters if it refuses to accept the trash.

In a statement Wednesday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced the government had awarded a contract to Bolloré Logistics Canada to bring truckloads of mixed waste, including adult diapers, back to Canada.

The Philippines has made several diplomatic protests to Canada since a 2016 court ruling that the garbage be returned.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Canadian waste shipped back to its country of origin, his spokesman says.

Duterte has ordered officials to look for a private shipping company to transport the garbage to Canadian territory in an escalation of his increasingly adversarial stance.

"Canada values its deep and long-standing relationship with the Philippines and has been working closely with Filipino authorities to find a solution that is mutually acceptable". Those groups say the shipment was illegal under the Basel Convention, an global treaty Canada signed to prevent richer nations from dumping their garbage in unsuspecting developing countries. She also said the government is looking at ways to hold Whitby, Ont. -based plastics exporter Chronic Inc.to account.

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The 69 containers are the remainder from 103 shipped by a private Canadian company to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 and labelled improperly as plastics for recycling.

Duterte's spokesman, Salvador Panelo, told a news conference in Manila Wednesday that Duterte was upset "about the inordinate delay of Canada in shipping back its containers of garbage", adding "We are extremely disappointed with Canada's neither-here-nor-there pronouncement on the matter". The volatile president said he was ready to "declare war" against Canada over the issue.

Canada has since offered to take the rubbish back but missed a May 15 deadline set by Manila to take back the shipment, prompting the Philippines to withdraw top diplomats from Canada last week.

The issue is not the only one to strain ties between the two countries.

"Obviously, Canada is not taking this issue nor our country seriously", Panelo said, before accusing Canada of insulting Filipinos by treating their country as a dumping ground.

Last year, Duterte ordered the military to cancel a $233-million USA deal to buy 16 helicopters from Canada, after Ottawa expressed concern they could be used to fight rebels.

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