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Pimentel backs Duterte on garbage issue; prods Canada to act on it.

By Vanne Terrazola

President Duterte's warning of declaring a war against Canada should prompt the country to finally act on the wastes it dumped in the Philippines several years ago, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Wednesday.

Pimentel backed the Chief Executive in giving Canada an ultimatum over the tons of garbage exported here between 2013 and 2014, although he believed the "war" threat may have been an exaggeration.

"Yung 'declare war' siyempre exaggeration 'yan (That 'declare war' statement was of course an exaggeration) but that means that Canada must seriously act on the waste they have dumped into our country 'cause that issue has been pending for so long!" Pimentel stressed in his text message when sought for comment.

The senator recalled raising the issue with Canadian Ambassador John Holmes when the latter paid him a courtesy call during his time as Senate president.

"No country, no matter how poor, should be treated as a dumping ground of the waste of rich countries. Bawal 'yan (That's illegal) even under international law," he said.

Pimentel earlier filed a bill seeking to ban the importation of waste in the Philippines, including those that will be processed and converted to energy.

"Bawal na 'yan kahit na 'legit' pa kuno ang purpose, pero alam naman natin na dumping lang naman 'yan talaga kunwari lang na waste to energy (That should be declared illegal even if importers insist on its supposedly 'legit' purpose, we already know that it is mere dumping in the guise of waste-to-energy)," he said.

Opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan, on the other hand, mocked Duterte's threat to Canada, citing his administration's supposed silence on the activities by China in the Philippine's territorial waters, as well as the involvement of its locals in illegal drugs.

"Gigiyerahin ang Canada dahil sa basura pero walang imik sa China sa pagpapalusot ng iligal na droga at pagsakop sa ating mga isla. Weh," Pangilinan wrote on Twitter.

(He will go to war against Canada because of garbage but is silent with China allowing illegal drugs and taking over our islands. Really.)

After the briefing on the situation in Pampanga following the magnitude 6.1 earthquake, President Duterte, on Tuesday night warned to ship back the garbage sent from Canada as he raised the possibility of going to war against the country.

He also threatened to dump at least five trucks of the exported waste in the Canadian embassy.

"Eh, 'di ano, awayin natin ang Canada (Let's fight Canada). We'll declare war against them, kaya man natin 'yan sila (we can handle them, anyway)," Duterte said.

CAPTION(S):

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 24, 2019
Words:441
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