Zubiri supports Duterte on sending back trash to Canada

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday expressed backing for President Duterte’s move to ship back to Canada the containers of garbage dumped in the Philippines six years ago.

Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN) Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

"We support the President's move on sending back the Canadian trash back to Canada as the Philippines is not a 'basurahan.' We are not a trash can where other nations can just wantonly violate our environmental laws and our sovereignty," the Senate leader said in a statement.

"As one of the principal authors of the Solid Waste Management Act, I am in full support of our President in returning the trash back to Canada and to do the same for any country who does this to us in the future," he added.

Several senators have also slammed Canada for its inaction on the 69 containers of garbage that have been rotting in the country for six years.

The long-standing row over the rubbish resulted in the Philippines recalling its ambassador to Canada after the latter missed the May 15 deadline for its retrieval.

On Wednesday, Presidential legal counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Duterte was irked over the delay and ordered to immediately send the garbage back to Canada, even the Philippines shouldering the cost.

Should Canada refuse, the Palace threatened to leave the garbage within its territorial waters.

After the Palace's announcements, the Canadian government issued a statement saying it is already working on taking back the garbage shipment, and that the removal will be completed by end of June.