Bato on US visa cancellation: ‘What a good birthday gift’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa admitted feeling bad after learning on the eve of his birthday that his US Visa had been canceled.
“I sent an official letter to the US embassy inquiring from them if really my visa was canceled so I received their official answer the day before my birthday, January 20, what a good birthday gift— informing me that my visa is no longer valid for travel to the United states,” Dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday.
The senator turned 58 on Tuesday, January 21.
The US government gave no reason for the cancellation of his visa but Dela Rosa suspects it might have been because of his role in the government’s brutal war on drugs especially during his time at the Philippine National Police (PNP).
As then chief of the PNP, Dela Rosa led the bloody drug war that resulted in the deaths of thousands of drug suspect.
But the senator said it is no longer surprising that the US would cancel his visa as he already had prior knowledge about it.
“Kung sama ng loob e tao lang tayo, talagang sasama ang loob [We’re just human, you’d really feel bad),” Dela Rosa said.
“I’ve been helping my counterparts from the US government, particularly their enforcement—the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], and other agencies ng [of] US. We’ve been working together, ngayon after that ganito, tanggalin nila [but now this, they’ll just have to cancel it]? It’s quite bad.”
“Sino bang masaya dyan. Sayang din, hindi na ako makapunta dun [Who’s going to be happy with that? I will no longer be able to go there],” he added.
Dela Rosa said he would try to apply again for a new US visa in case President Rodrigo Duterte joins and invites him to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Las Vegas this March.
Edited by JPV
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