“I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail [there]," Duterte said, railing against the North American nation, following a briefing to discuss a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Luzon on Monday.
"We’ll declare war against them… We’ll fight with Canada. We can take them down. I’ll return their trash just wait and see,” he added, alleging that Canada was treating his country like a “dumpsite.”
Some 103 shipping containers of household waste, plastic bottles and bags, and used adult diapers were shipped to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, under the presidency of Benigno Aquino III, by the private company Chronic Plastics Inc who reportedly mislabelled the waste shipments as plastic scraps. Garbage from at least 26 of the containers has since been buried in a Philippines landfill.
“I will advise Canada that your garbage is on the way, prepare a grand reception, eat it if you want to,” Duterte continued.
Manila has reportedly filed several diplomatic protests with Canada ever since the shipments were made, but to no avail. Canada has refused to take the garbage back, claiming a lack of authority to compel the private company responsible for the original dumping to return the waste.
“We also discussed the garbage issue which has been a long-standing irritant and I committed to [Duterte] as I am happy to commit to you all now that Canada is very much engaged in finding a solution on that,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during his 2017 visit to Manila.
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