Groups Intervene in Canada Garbage Court Case at the Manila RTC

Five environmental, labor and party list
groups, including private individuals, have joined forces to ensure the return
of the illegal garbage imported from Canada to its origin in accordance with
national and international laws.
The EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator
Alternatives, Public Services Labor Confederation, Sentro ng  mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa and
Ang NARS  Party-list, and private
individuals, have filed a motion to intervene in a criminal case filed against
the importer and customs brokers of the Canadian garbage for violation of Republic
Act 6969, the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act.
The groups are seeking the court’s permission to be
allowed to intervene in the case to enforce the obligation of the accused to
return the illegal trash imports pursuant to R.A. 6969.
The groups filed their motion for intervention, along
with the complaint-in-intervention, on July 22 with Branch 1 of the Regional
Trial Court of Manila.  The first hearing
is set on August 19.
The groups intervened “to prevent the further dumping of
the illegal trash imports in the country and for the imported garbage to be
sent back to Canada in line with R.A. 6969 and the Basel Convention, especially
since there were moves from the prosecutor and the owner of the container vans
to allow the disposition of the garbage locally,” explained Rene Pineda of
the EcoWaste Coalition, one of the intervenors.
“We fear that such moves will gravely affect the health
of the populace and the environment,” he said.
“Once we are part of the case and with the help of
the court, we hope to make sure that the executive agencies, particularly the
Bureau of Customs, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the
Department of Foreign Affairs will be transparent on their actions and more importantly
ensure that no more imported trash from Canada will be disposed of anywhere in
the country,” he added.
The intervening groups and individuals believed that
their collective action to oppose foreign waste disposal into the national
territory is in accordance with Sections 15 and 16 of Article 2 of the 1987

Sections 15 provides that “the State shall protect
and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness
among them,” while Section 16 provides states that “the State shall protect and
advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.”
Allowing the disposal of Canada’s garbage in local
landfills or other facilities will undoubtedly set a very bad example that will
put human and ecological health at risk and should be resisted,  the intervenors said.

Meanwhile, senior statesman Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., former Senate president,
recently stated that “the Philippines is not a garbage dump of Canada or any
country for that matter.” 

“Tarlac government units are right and they should be
commended for asserting their constituents’ human right to clean air and
environment,” he said. 
Pimentel was referring to the successful action by the Tarlac local authorities
to investigate and stop the further dumping of Canadian trash in the town of