Looks like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a new nemesis. This time, it’s Canada.
During a briefing at the provincial capitol building of Pampanga in San Fernando City yesterday, Duterte expressed his frustration with how the North American country’s garbage remains in the Philippines five years after they were illegally dumped in the country.
The president, who often makes menacing public statements, also said that he would declare war against Canada if they do not take back their garbage.
He said in a mix of English and Filipino: “We will fight Canada. We will declare war against them. I will send those [garbage] back. Load them on a ship…I will advise Canada that your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to.”
As many as 103 containers containing Canadian waste such as plastic bottles, bags, and even used adult diapers arrived in Manila from 2013 to 2014, reported ABS-CBN News. The trash came from an Ontario-based company which wrongly declared the contents of the containers as recyclable materials.
A court in Manila ordered in 2016 that the garbage be shipped back to Canada but it remains in the country, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assurance to Duterte in 2017 that his government is committed to finding a solution to the problem.
Judging by Duterte’s statements, he’s had it with Canada’s dilly-dallying.
“I want a boat prepared. I will give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail going to Canada and I will dump their garbage back to them. I can’t understand why they are making us a dumpsite… They will continue sending those garbage to us,” he said.
But it seems that Duterte has another reason why he’s hating on the Canadians.
“We bought a chopper from them and they agreed to sell, but their conditionalities include not using it against our own citizens,” Duterte ranted.
“You are crazy. My own citizens are cutting the neck of my soldiers and policemen. My own citizens are declaring war to oust everybody. We, who are doing our jobs. I cannot allow that,” he said.
Earlier this week, a newspaper published an “association matrix” of journalists who are allegedly out to remove Duterte from office by publishing a series of videos that accuse his family and supporters of benefitting from the illegal drug trade. The journalists involved denied being involved in the plot.
Duterte also made an allegation yesterday that Canada has offered some grants if the Philippines agrees to accept their garbage.
“Go back to where you came from. I will not allow that kind of shit. They’re too much. They extend educational grants but on the condition that we will accept their shit and their garbage. I will not allow that. Load them [on a boat] and send it to them. [You should] celebrate because your garbage is coming home,” Duterte said.
But the president wants some of the garbage to remain in the Philippines — for a reason. “Five trucks of those, dump it on the Canadian embassy [in Manila].”
Time to take back your garbage, Canada.
This article, ‘Eat it if you want to’: Duterte threatens war if Canada does not take back garbage, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!