Philippines says envoy recalled over Canada trash row

  • In Business
  • 2019-05-16 07:56:43Z
  • By AFP
The festering diplomatic row is over tonnes of rubbish shipped to the Philippines from Canada in 2013 and 2014
The festering diplomatic row is over tonnes of rubbish shipped to the Philippines from Canada in 2013 and 2014  

Manila (AFP) - The Philippines has recalled its ambassador to Canada, Manila's foreign minister said Thursday, in an escalation of a festering diplomatic row over tonnes of trash dumped in the Southeast Asian nation.

Ties have been deteriorating since a Canadian company sent around 100 shipping containers that included rotting rubbish wrongly labelled as recyclables to Philippine ports in 2013 and 2014.

Manila set a May 15 deadline for Canada to take the rotting trash back, after President Rodrigo Duterte berated Ottawa over the issue last month.

Canada has since said it is working to arrange for the containers' return, but has not given a timeframe.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said letters recalling the ambassador and consuls to Canada have been sent and the diplomats would be in Manila "in a day or so".

"Canada missed the May 15 deadline. And we shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship-bound there," Locsin wrote on Twitter.

Duterte's spokesman said the move was a warning to Canada that the Philippines was ready to sever ties over the issue.

"The president's position is very clear: take that back otherwise our relations are over," Salvador Panelo told reporters.

Canada's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

- 'Let's fight Canada' -

The garbage has strained ties, which were already tested after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau questioned Duterte's deadly drug crackdown.

Duterte bristles at any international criticism of his signature policy, which has seen police kill thousands of alleged addicts and pushers since 2016.

Last year he cancelled the Philippine military's $235 million contract to buy 16 military helicopters from a Canada-based manufacturer after Ottawa put the deal under review because of the president's human rights record.

During a speech in April, Duterte threatened to unilaterally ship the garbage back to Canada, saying "let's fight Canada. I will declare war against them."

Duterte frequently uses coarse language and hyperbole in speeches about opponents.

Following the comments, Canada offered to repatriate the waste and the Philippines said Ottawa would shoulder the expense of disposal.

Manila's Bureau of Customs said last week the Philippines was ready to send back the trash but Canada needed several more weeks to prepare documentation.

Some 69 shipping containers of trash remain after 34 others have already been disposed of in the Philippines, the finance ministry said.

Environmental group Ecowaste Coalition offered support for the diplomatic action, but said the government could do more to combat dumping.

"If the Philippine government really wants to send an unequivocal message... it must move swiftly to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment," the group's national coordinator Aileen Lucero said.

The amendment is intended to protect developing countries from becoming dumping grounds for wealthy nations.


More Related News

Asia Today: Duterte easing lockdown in Philippine capital
Asia Today: Duterte easing lockdown in Philippine capital

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is relaxing a lockdown in the capital, the country's epicenter of coronavirus infections, in a tightrope move as the economy weakens and the government spends money to help feed millions of poor families restricted to their homes. Duterte said Thursday night that metropolitan Manila will move to a more relaxed quarantine on Monday after more than two months of police- and military-enforced lockdown that restrained public mobility and most economic activities. Duterte made the televised announcement hours after the Department of Health reported a single-day spike of 539 infections, more than 60% of them in the congested capital.

Philippines confirms 539 new coronavirus cases, largest single-day increase
Philippines confirms 539 new coronavirus cases, largest single-day increase

The Philippines' health ministry on Thursday reported 17 more novel coronavirus deaths and 539 new infections, the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the virus was first detected in the country. The number of recovered patients was 3,598. An inter-agency panel on coronavirus has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the easing of strict lockdown measures in the capital, which accounts for most of the coronavirus cases and deaths, to restart economic activity.

Rights group urges inquiry into Philippine drug war killings
Rights group urges inquiry into Philippine drug war killings
  • World
  • 2020-05-27 06:50:19Z

Human Rights Watch is calling on the U.N.'s top human rights body to launch an independent investigation into the Philippine government's drug war that has left thousands dead, pointing in particular to its harmful effects on children. The advocacy group made the call alongside Wednesday's launch of a report timed for the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council session next month. The 48-page report is based on nearly 50 interviews and examines the impact of about two dozen killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.

Canada court decision could end
Canada court decision could end 'Huawei Princess' extradition saga

A Canadian judge will deliver a key decision Wednesday on the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou that could set her free and help repair Canada-China relations. Four days of legal arguments in January focused on whether US charges against the "Huawei Princess" would stand up in Canada, a key test for extradition. Prosecutors accused her of committing fraud by lying to a US bank, which is a crime in both Canada and the United States.

Philippine children have been traumatised by abusive drugs war, says Human Rights Watch probe
Philippine children have been traumatised by abusive drugs war, says Human Rights Watch probe
  • US
  • 2020-05-27 05:02:12Z

Thousands of children in the Philippines have suffered lasting physical, emotional and economic harm from the brutal drugs war instigated by Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, according to an investigation released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday. The disturbing report, which documents the trauma of children whose parents or guardians have been violently killed, comes a few weeks before an expected decision the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent international investigation into the Philippines' controversial counter-drugs operations. The spiraling death toll among alleged drug dealers and users since Mr Duterte rose to power in 2016 vowing to "feed the fish in...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business