Garbage war smolders

Teodoro Locsin Jr.
Teodoro Locsin Jr.

CANADA is disappointed over the recall of Philippine Ambassador and Consuls General in Canada but vowed to work closely with the Philippines to be able to ship back its wastes that were exported to Manila.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. recalled Filipino envoys in Canada to protest Canada’s failure to resolve the waste issue.

“Canada is disappointed by this decision to recall the Philippine ambassador and consuls general. However, we will continue to closely engage with the Philippines to ensure a swift resolution of this important issue,” Guillaume Bérubé, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

Bérubé did not say when the containers of trash will be pulled out.

The spokesman however reiterated Canada’s “commitment to promptly ship and dispose of the Canadian waste”.

“We remain committed to finalizing these arrangements for the return of the waste to Canada,” he said.

He reiterated “Canada values its deep and long standing relationship with the Philippines.”

Global Affairs Canada manages Ottawa’s diplomatic relations and trade.

Ottawa was given until May 15 to pull out its wastes but missed the deadline prompting Locsin to recall the Philippine diplomats assigned in Canada.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the order was to persuade Canada to speed up the process of retrieving more than a hundred container vans containing the wastes that arrived in batches at the Port of Manila from 2013 to 2014.

“That order of the recall is to persuade them to make it fast. The more they delay, the more personnel will be coming back,” he said.

Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia is reportedly back in Manila.

Immigration sources confirmed that Garcia arrived Friday morning from Toronto, Canada without fanfare.

It was learned from the sources that Garcia arrived on Philippine Airlines flight PR-119.

The same sources said Garcia’s plane touched down at Runway 06/24 at 3:56 Friday morning.

Garcia was recalled by DFA chief Locsin after the government of Canada failed to meet the May 15 deadline given by President Duterte for it to take back the tons of garbage brought into the Philippines by private parties.

With Itchie G. Cabayan