Press Release
February 11, 2018

Koko reminds Canada: Clean up your trash

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Sunday called on Canada to take back the 2,450 tons of garbage that it dumped in the Philippines in June 2013.

Pimentel filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 553 on December 4, 2017, which called for a Senate inquiry on the shipment.

"I call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be true to his word and take back the trash that was shipped to our country in violation of our laws. This can only enhance Canada's self-imposed burden of being a champion of human rights and the rule of law", said Pimentel.

Trudeau in the 31st Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that the legal barriers and restrictions preventing the return of the garbage to Canada have been addressed and it is now "theoretically possible" for Canada to get the trash back.

The shipment is the subject of a criminal case filed by the Bureau of Customs against Chronic Plastics, Inc. in February 2014 for violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Republic Act No. 6969 or the Toxic Substance and Hazardous Wastes and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.

The Canadian government did not respond to a formal request made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in 2015 to the Canadian embassy for assistance to bring the garbage back to Canada.

The trash, which consisted of non-recyclable materials, including used adult diapers, were dumped at a private landfill in Tarlac in June 2015.

Pimentel, a bar topnotcher, said that the ship violated not just RA 6969, but also the Philippine Constitution, which mandates the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Pimentel said, "Canada's casual disregard for the health of Filipinos and the preservation of our environment shows a stark contrast to its supposed concern for our human rights. I challenge Prime Minister Trudeau to back his words with actions."

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday canceled a $233-million deal signed by the Philippines with Canada for the purchase of 16 helicopters after the latter raised concerns that the equipment will be used against rebels.

The Canadian government ordered a review of the deal based on human rights concerns a day after it was signed by both governments.

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