Duterte attendance in US summit may clarify ban on PH officials
MANILA, Philippines — Did the United States also revoke the visa of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other military and police officials?
Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday claimed hearing this unconfirmed report from the police.
“Alam ko na si Senator Bato na hindi na pumunta sa US at may balita may ibang opisyal katulaad nina Secretary Lorenzana daw na nakabacklist o hinold samantalang si Secretary Lorenzana ay kung tutuusin ay military attache natin sa Washington DC, mahigit 15 anyos kaya nakakagulat nga,” Marcos said at the Kapihan sa Senado.
(I know that Senator Bato did not go to the U.S. and there is a report that other officials like Secretary Lorenzana were blacklisted or held. But considering that Secretary Lorenzana was our military attache for more than 15 years in Washington, this is surprising)
On Wednesday, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who spearheaded the government’s brutal war on drugs when he was police chief, confirmed that the U.S. had revoked his visa.
But unlike Dela Rosa, Marcos pointed out that the cancellation of Lorenzana’s visa has not been confirmed yet.
“Tsismis lang, balita ko. Tsismosa ako e,” (It is just a rumor) the senator said.
But it would be ironic, she said, had the rumor been true that “Amboy” (American boy) Lorenza has been barred from entering the U.S.
“Nakakatawa lang kasi ironic e dahil kung minsan binibiro nga namin na Amboy sya e kasi ang tagal tagal nya sa Amerika e, pagkatapos wala pala syang visa,” Marcos said.
(It’s funny and ironic because we even called him Amboy since he stayed long in America)
She said it was also possible that the U.S. might have also revoked the visa of other police and military officers since they are being blamed for all the issues happening in the country.
The only way to find out why Philippine officials had bee blacklisted by the U.S. was for President Rodrigo Duterte to attend the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Las Vegas this March, the senator said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has invited ASEAN leaders to attend the summit but Duterte has yet to accept the invitation.
“Sinasabi ko nga na dapat pumunta na nga si Presidente dyan sa ASEAN-U.S. ng Marso at makita natin kung ano talaga ang sitwasyon at kung bakit naman bina-blacklist ng Amerikano itong mga opisyal na Pilipino,” she said.
(If the President will attend the ASEAN summit in March, we will see the real situation and find out why Philippine officials are being blacklisted by the Americans)
But she said it would still be up to Duterte if he would raise the issue should he decide to join the summit.
“Pero ang akin lang, respeto sana sa respeto,” she said.
(As for me, respect begets respect)
“ I think that it’s very, very important that we should respect the sovereign rights of every country,” the senator stressed.
Edited by MUF
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.