Rodrigo Duterte Tells Canada to Take Its Garbage Back or He Will Dump It 'On Your Beautiful Beaches'

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, arrives for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People in Beijing on April 25. He has issued a warning to Canada over its dumping of garbage in his country. Kenzaburo FUKUHARA, Getty

Just days after threatening all-out war, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to fight Canada on the beaches—by dumping garbage on them.

Last week, Duterte railed against the hundreds of tons of trash brought to his country's ports in 2013 and 2014.

Manila says the 103 containers were falsely marked as holding recyclable scrap. An environmental nonprofit group found they held adult diapers, household garbage, plastic bags and other waste, Filipino news outlet ABS-CBN reported.

In 2016, a Philippine court ordered the company, Chronic Inc., to return the garbage to Canada. But it has stayed in port storage areas, except for 26 containers that were dumped into landfill.

Known for calling a spade the kind of spade required to clean up such trash, Duterte said last Tuesday at a news conference that he was giving "warning to Canada" and that "we will declare war against them."

His annoyance with Ottawa was still present when he said in Davao City that his country was "being treated like a dump site.

"I will tell them to load it onto ships next week. If you don't accept your garbage, I will dump it on your beautiful beaches," he said, according to the Inquirer.

Caroline Thériault, a spokesperson for Canada's minister of the environment, said last week that Ottawa was "working closely with the Philippines to resolve this issue in an environmentally responsible way," The New York Times reported.

Ottawa had previously said it could not chart a private ship to return the shipment to Canada. The Canadian Embassy in Manila said the country was "committed to collaborating with the government of the Philippines to resolve this issue," ABS-CBN News reported.

The Canadian Embassy in Manila did not address Duterte's threat but noted instead that Manila and Ottawa "are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations."

"The relationship is built on strong people-to-people ties, our common interest in strengthening political, economic and cultural relations and in our mutual commitment to peace," it said.

The president's Malacañan Palace said Duterte's demand was "non-negotiable" and that Canada's response was "vague," Asia One reported.

On Sunday, Duterte said: "We are not a garbage dump. The Filipinos are not scavengers. And you do that to us as I am wont to do… I'm like this, I will really offend you."

Ties between the countries have been more strained after the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised concerns in 2017 over Duterte's drug war. Last year, Duterte canceled a $233 million military chopper deal with Canada.