Philippines threatens to dump rubbish back in Canadian waters as row deepens | World news


Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his government to hire private shipping company to send 69 containers of garbage back to Canada and to leave them within his territorial waters if it refuses to accept the rubbish.

"The Philippines as an independent sovereign nation must be treated as a trash by other foreign nation," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told a media briefing.

Canada says the waste, exported to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, was a commercial transaction done without the government's consent.

Canada had already agreed to take the money back in the process of arranging the transfer.

But Canada missed at 15 May deadline set by Manila to take back the shipment, prompting the Philippines to withdraw top diplomats from Canada last week.

“Obviously, Canada is not taking this issue nor our country seriously. The Filipino people are gravely insulted about Canada treating this country as a dump site, "Panelo said.

On Wednesday, Canada said it had hired a company, Bollore Logistics Canada, "to safely bring back to Canada as soon as possible," according to a government statement.

"The statement said." The statement said.

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

The consignments were labeled as containing a variety of rubbish including nappies, newspapers and water bottles.

Foreign minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to her Filipino counterpart, Teodoro Locsin, about the garbage spat last week.

"As I mentioned to them last week, we are committed to resolving this issue as quickly as possible. Today is an essential step forward in accomplishing that, ”Freeland said in the statement on Wednesday.

The issue is not only one of the two countries.

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



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