PH-Canada 70-year ties to be "put to naught" sans garbage immediate resolution - Palace
Malacanang warned on Thursday that the seven-decade diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada would be "put to naught" if it would not immediately retrieve its tons of garbage rotting in the country for years now.
"The seventy 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," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"That it even considered performing such outlandish disposal of its garbage to an ally is dangerously disruptive of our bilateral relations," he added.
While the Palace acknowledged Canada's quick response on President Rodrigo Duterte's warning to declare war and to dump trucks of garbage to Canadian Embassy if it would not take back the wastes, its statement, however, was "vague," he said.
In a statement on Wednesday, a day after Duterte made the stern warning, the Canadian Embassy in Manila said its government is committed in collaborating with the Philippines to solve the problem.
It has said a joint technical working group from both countries has been discussing a timely resolution of the issue.
"We take note that its response is not appropriate to the strong statement we made against its throwing its garbage to our land. 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.
He said Canada's "offensive act" could not be countenanced and "any further discussion on the matter is unwelcome and unnecessary."
Aside from not taking decisive action on its "arrant hostile demeanor," Panelo said Canada has not expressed regrets.
Over 100 container vans of garbage from Canada were exported to the Philippines between 2013 to 2014 by a private firm.
When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Philippines in 2015 and 2017, he had said his government was working to address the issue.
"I have obviously been made aware of the situation and I’ve also been told that there is a Canadian solution in the process of being developed. But, at the same time, I know that this has exposed a problem that needs fixing within our own legislation that we’re going to lean into and make sure happens," Trudeau said during a press conference on Nov. 19, 2015 at the sidelines of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Manila.
In 2017 at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila, in a media interview, he reiterated Canada's commitment to resolve the matter. Celerina Monte/DMS