MANILA – Canadian Ambassador John Holmes has vowed to protect his country’s relations with the Philippines amid the brewing diplomatic rift over Ottawa's exported garbage in Manila that resulted in the recall of Filipino envoys from the country.
"I cannot comment on the specifics of that issue. I just want to say that we have a good relationship with the Philippines and my job is to protect that relationship," Holmes said in an interview in Makati on Thursday night.
"I'm confident that we will have excellent relations for a long time with our friends from the Philippines," he added.
Asked if any Canadian representative has already met with Philippine authorities following the recall announcement on Thursday, Holmes also declined to comment.
Reporters, as of posting, were awaiting details from the Department of Foreign Affairs whether meetings have already been convened after Canada missed the deadline for the pullout of its waste on Wednesday.
Although disappointed on the recall, Canada has reiterated commitments to closely engage the Philippines in coming up with "a swift resolution of this important issue."
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Canadian-Philippine diplomatic relations, which range from people-to-people cooperation, education, and trade.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, meanwhile, believes the recall of envoys would not result in the severing of ties with Canada and that trade ties between the two countries would “simply continue” since the garbage shipment is a “separate issue." (PNA)