Trash row puts Philippines-Canada diplomatic ties at risk hinh anh 1Filipino environmental activists wear a mock container vans filled with garbage to symbolize the 50 containers of waste that were shipped from Canada to the Philippines two years ago as they hold a protest outside the Canadian Embassy in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, on May 7. (Source: AP)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The Philippines will withdraw its top diplomats from Canada after Ottawa missed a deadline to take back 69 shipping containers full of trash, the latest move in a long-running row between the two countries regarding this issue.

On his Twitter on May 16, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said his country shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship-bound there.

The statement came after the deadline of May 15 for Canada to take back the containers of trash transferred from Canada to the Philippines a few years ago.

Last month, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Canada with “war” and said he would personally escort the waste containers by sea back to Canada.

Canada’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment after the Philippines’ statement.

Canada says the waste, exported to Manila between 2013 and 2014, was a commercial transaction not backed by its government. It has since offered to take it back and the two countries were in the process of arranging the transfer.

The Philippines has made several diplomatic protests to Canada in the wake of a 2016 court ruling that the garbage be returned.

The consignments were labeled as containing plastics to be recycled in the Philippines, but were filled with domestic waste and electronics.-VNA