MANILA— Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should resolve the issue on the tons of garbage dumped in the Philippines four years ago before making comments on the human rights issue.
“I think the Canadian Prime Minister should comment on a much relevant issue that Canada needs to answer for,” Sotto said in a press statement.
Sotto said it was “not acceptable” that he cannot offer a tangible solution for the tons of garbage still rotting in the country’s ports until now.
“Stop evading your country’s responsibility by bringing up an issue that is highly debatable,” he added, referring to Trudeau’s comments on the country’s human rights situation.
Trudeau, in a press conference at the International Media Center (IMC) for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, said legal restrictions, which have prevented the return of the trash to Canada, had already been addressed.
“Canada is very open to work with the Philippine government to resolve the garbage problem. We have legal barriers that prevented us from receiving the wastes back to Canada. These impediments have now been addressed. So it is theoretically possible to bring them back,” Trudeau said.
He pointed out that the Philippine and Canadian governments need to settle issues such as who would shoulder the cost of shipping the trash back to Canada.