PH recalls diplomats from Canada due to garbage mess

Philippines recalls its envoys in Canada over tons of rotting garbage

Philippines recalls its envoys in Canada over tons of rotting garbage

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Thursday recalled the Philippine ambassador to Canada which missed the deadline to retrieve tons of garbage shipped from that country to local ports. "They are expected here in a day or so". Officials later set a May 15 deadline for Canada to comply.

Locsin ordered Ambassador Petronila Garcia and the consul generals in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver to "get the next flight out" of Canada.

Panelo added that he does not expect these developments to affect overseas Filipino workers and migrants in Canada, noting that the Philippine government "will always be protective" of nationals. "Otherwise, we're gonna sever relations with them", Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Officials in the Philippines first raised the waste issue with Canada in 2014 after it found that containers of rubbish had been shipped between 2013 and 2014.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said yesterday that the government is open to delaying the shipment for one to three weeks because some documents are still being ironed out, as long as Canada pays for the storage fees.

Last year, Duterte cancelled the Philippine military's $235m 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.

In his tough rant, Duterte called for boats to be prepared to ship back the containers, advising Ottawa to "prepare a grand reception", and suggesting that Canadians "eat it" if they want to.

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

But until the tweets Thursday morning, there were few indications that an escalation of this kind was in the cards.

"They have been sending their trash to us".

Mr Locsin said what triggered him to pull out the envoys was Canada's failure to show up at a meeting with Philippine customs officials.

The Canadian embassy in the Philippines, in a statement in April, said that Manila and Ottawa were working together to resolve the garbage issue.

Environmental groups in Canada and the Philippines say that Canada is violating the Basel Convention, an global treaty that outlines rules around the regulation of hazardous materials and waste to prevent developed countries from dumping their trash in developing countries without their consent.

Last month, the Pacific Centre for International Law and Litigation in British Columbia issued a legal opinion that said Canada had violated the convention because it inaccurately described the content of the containers and failed to take them back within 30 days of being notified of their contents.

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