Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to declare “war” with Canada unless the nation takes back thousands of tons of trash shipped to Manila by a Canadian company, according to CNN Philippines.
“I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that [trash] out,” Duterte said Tuesday. “We’ll declare war against them, we can handle them anyway.”
According to The Hill:
The company, Chronic Plastics, reportedly shipped 103 containers holding 2,450 tons of trash between 2013 and 2014. While they were labeled as recyclable plastics, Philippine inspectors found them to not be recyclable. Last June, the Philippines’s Office of the Ombudsman ruled the shipments illegal, finding Chronic Plastics shipped the cargo without import clearances, according to the report. The office also found probable cause to charge an official with the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources with graft for mishandling the shipment.
Many of the containers remain at the port of Manila, according to the news outlet.
“I cannot understand why they are making us a dump site,” Duterte said. He also threatened to dump the trash in front of the Canadian Embassy himself, saying the “garbage is coming home.”
The Philippines have called on Canada to reclaim the waste for years.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in 2017 that the country was “very much engaged in finding a solution,” according to CNN Philippines.