By Genalyn Kabiling
BEIJING — Canada should take back its garbage dumped in the Philippines “pronto” or else years of bilateral relations will be “put to naught,” Malacañang warned Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government’s position against Canada’s garbage was “non-negotiable,” lamenting that Canada has neither made any decisive action nor expressed regrets on the waste issue.
“Our stand against its making our country a garbage bin of their waste is non-negotiable. It cannot dilly dally on its getting them back. It must retrieve them pronto or we throw them back to its shores,” Panelo said.
“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,” he added.
He noted that Canada’s “outlandish” disposal of garbage to an ally was “dangerously disruptive of our bilateral relations.”
“Its offensive act cannot be countenanced and any further discussion on the matter is unwelcome and unnecessary,” he said.
President Duterte earlier threatened to go to war if Canada would not retrieve the tons of garbage shipped to the Philippines years ago. Canada has reportedly promised to work with the Philippine government for a “timely resolution” to remove the waste shipment from the country.
Panelo hit back at Canada for its “vague statement” in relation to the President’s call on the waste issue.
“We take note that its response is not appropriate to the strong statement we made against its throwing its garbage to our land,” he said.
“Not only has it not taken any decisive action on this arrant hostile demeanor, it has not likewise expressed regrets thereto,” he added.