Palace: Ties with Canada 'no longer garbage' after return of trash
In this Nov. 14, 2017 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte chats with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the Association of Southeast Asia Nations-Canada 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. In his previous visit to Manila two years ago, Trudeau vowed to resolve the issue of the containers of garbage from Canada illegally shipped to the Philippines. Duterte earlier threatened to go to war with Canada if it would not take back the trash from the country.
Presidential Photo/Ace Morandante, File

Palace: Ties with Canada 'no longer garbage' after return of trash

Alexis Romero ( - June 30, 2019 - 5:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The relationship between the Philippines and Canada has become cordial again, Malacañang said Sunday, as the ship carrying tons of garbage rejected by Manila arrived in Vancouver over the weekend.

Reports said cargo ship Anna Maersk, which carried 69 containers of Canadian trash dumped in the Philippines six years ago, arrived in Greater Vancouver on Saturday.

The garbage would be sent to a waste-to-energy facility, Canadian officials were quoted by reports as saying. 

READ: Trash sent back from Philippines arrives in Canada

"E siguro cordial na ulit (Perhaps, it's cordial again)," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a radio interview when asked to describe the ties between Manila and Ottawa following the arrival of the garbage-hauling vessel in Vancouver. 

"Di na basura ang relasyon (The relationship is no longer garbage)," he added. 

Last April, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Customs bureau to return to Canada containers of garbage sent to the Philippines in 2013 and accused Ottawa of turning the Philippines into a dump site. The Philippine leader even threatened to go to war if Canada refuses to take back the trash, which were reportedly mislabeled as recyclable plastics.

Canada responded that it had already been working with Philippine officials on the return of the garbage.

To show that it is serious in demanding the return of the garbage, the Duterte administration had recalled the diplomats assigned in Canada and had prohibited its officials from traveling to Ottawa.

RELATED: Canada disappointed over Philippines envoy’s recall

Anna Maersk, the cargo ship that carried the containers of garbage, sailed for Vancouver last May, prompting the Philippines to order its diplomats recalled from Canada to return to their posts.

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