Diplomatic fallout with Canada possible – Palace

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said Philippines will have diplomatic fallout with Canada if the latter fails to act swiftly on the tons of Canadian waste imported to the country.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo slammed Canada for its “vague” response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war threat if Ottawa fails to remove dozens of shipping containers filled with trash by next week.

“We take note that Canada’s response is not appropriate to the strong statement we made against throwing its garbage to our land,” Panelo said.

“Our stand against Canada making our country a garbage bin of their waste is non-negotiable. It must retrieve them pronto or we throw them back to its shores,” he added.

The palace official said the dumping of Canadian waste was an “offensive act” that “cannot be countenanced and any further discussion on the matter is unwelcome and unnecessary.”

Panelo said Canada expressed no regrets over the illegal garbage exports placed in 26 containers in batches from 2013 and 2014.

“The 70 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,” Panelo said.

“That it even considered performing such outlandish disposal of garbage to an ally is dangerously disruptive of our bilateral relations,” he added.

In response to Duterte’s threat on Tuesday, the Canadian Embassy said a joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is “examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of waste with a view to a timely resolution.” /PN


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