By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte is serious in his remark that he will not allow the country to be treated as a dumpsite, saying he will order the arrest of any Customs official or employee who will sign the release papers of any garbage shipments from other countries.
Duterte made the statement a week after Canada retrieved its garbage a private firm shipped to the Philippines six years ago.
In an interview with Sonshine Media Network International, Duterte reiterated that he will not allow any country to dump their garbage in the Philippines anymore.
“I will not allow it and anybody — any Customs employee o opisyal. ‘Pag pumirma ka sa release papers niyan, sabihin mo hindi niyo alam (or officials, if you sign the release papers even when you say you didn’t know what’s inside), you go out or I will even arrest you,” he said.
“Magpagawa ako ng container kasing laki ng kabaong mo. Ihulog kita diyan sa dagat (I will have a container built the size of your coffin then I will throw you to the sea),” he added.
The President then said that the garbage being shipped to the Philippines are harmful to the people because they are considered toxic.
“Hospital waste pati ‘yung (and the) plastic, those are toxic materials. Plastic is the toxic material. The ones that they use in the chips are toxic materials,” Duterte said.
In a speech Thursday evening, Duterte reminded other countries that the Philippines is not a place where they can dispose of their garbage on, saying that they should have the basic respect to other sovereign nations.
“It’s a matter of respect. Kung gawain mo lang akong basurahan dito, p***** i** (If you will just treat our country like a garbage bin)…” he said.
“Akala nila nagbibiro ako. Sabi ko sa kanila, isauli ko ‘yan ‘pag hindi tayo nagkaintindihan (They think I was kidding. I told them that I will return their garbage and if we can’t agree on it), I will declare war,” he added.
Duterte also revealed plans that he would have ordered the Philippine Navy to take the trash back to Canada if no one made a move to make it happen.
“Kasi kung walang barko, magkarga ng basura, ang navy ang tawagin ko, Philippine Navy, as Filipinos insulted we will… Karga mo ‘yang basurahan, pumunta tayo ng Canada, ihulog mo diyan sa pantalan nila (If there were no ships to haul the trash, I will call the Philippine Navy to bring it to Canada and dump it in their shores),” he said.
“And then, of course, the navy and the police will start to arrest my navy men. Baka magbarilan pa. ‘Di kung magbarilan, o ‘di mag-giyera tayo. Hindi naman ako papayag nang ganun lang (They may even exchange gunshots. It will end up in a war. If that happens then we’ll really go to war. I cannot just let that happen),” he added.
“Whether I like it or not, you accept your garbage because I’m going to send it to you and I will just discharge it in your water. Arestuhin ninyo ‘yung sundalo ko, giyera tayo (Arrest my soldiers, then we will go to war),” he continued.
In 2013, a total of 55 container vans of garbage from Canada were discovered by Customs authorities in the Manila seaport. The shipments were allowed into the country because they were allegedly disguised as recyclable plastics.
In late April, President Duterte threatened to declare war against Canada if they will not get back the trash they shipped to the Philippines almost six years ago. Canada, in response, vowed to retrieve their garbage.