(Eagle News)–Criminal charges will be pursued against the private importers of the trash from Canada that had been languishing in the Philippines for years.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who was also designated the caretaker of the government while President Rodrigo Duterte is on a working visit to Japan, said this even as the Canadian government prepared to recall the garbage, a bulk of which had been left in a Tarlac landfill after it was brought to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, on Thursday, May 30.
The Canadian government did this after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government agencies to look for a private vessel that would ship the garbage back to the North American country.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had said then that the cost of the reshipment would be shouldered by the Philippine government.
If Canada refused to accept the trash, Panelo said the vessel was instructed to leave the garbage in Canada shores.
Duterte gave the order after Canada missed the May 15 deadline for the reshipment of the garbage.
Without giving names, Guevarra said one of these importers was already the subject of a police manhunt.
According to Guevarra, from Manila, the vessels contracted for the reshipment will stop over in a Chinese port.
He said the Chinese government, which will shoulder the freight cost of the reshipment, has given clearance for the transshipment.
“The vessels will then proceed to Vancouver, Canada,” Guevarra said.
He said storage fees, demurrage, and similar land charges “shall be for the account of the Philippine importers.”