President Duterte has given Canada a week-long ultimatum to retrieve tons of garbage dumped in the Philippines more than five years ago.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made this remark today (Monday, April 29) after the president threatened to dump the rubbish on Canada’s beaches if it were not taken back.
Addressing young athletes and their parents at the opening of sporting event in Davao City last night, the president said the country was not a dumpsite for other nations’ garbage. He said: “There are about 200 containers there sent by Canada, we are being treated like a dumpsite.
“I will tell them to load it onto ships next week. If you don’t accept your garbage, I will dump it on your beautiful beaches.”
He also threatened to dump five trucks of the trash at the Canadian embassy in Manila.
Declaration of war
Panelo also said today that the president’s threat last week to declare war on Canada over the issue was just a “figure of speech”.
However, he stressed that the president was serious about the ultimatum. “That’s what the president said,” he told reporters at a palace briefing.
“We will send them back to your shores if you don’t get that back. And the president last night, he said that, throw them to your beach. That’s true. He’s angry.”
Pledge on garbage
Meanwhile, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes said they were “working as quickly as we can” to take back the trash.
“We are working closely, collaboratively with the Philippine government and we have already indicated that we are prepared to take the trash back and so this is an issue that both government have to work together and solve together,” he said.
As we previously reported, Panelo has warned that Canada’s disposal of 103 containers of mixed garbage in 2013 and 2014 was “dangerously disruptive” of bilateral relations.
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