Duterte threatens to scrap VFA if US doesn’t rectify Bato’s visa cancellation
Manila, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if the United States does not “correct” its cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.
“I’m warning you. This is the first time. Kapag hindi ninyo ginawa ang correction diyan [If you do not correct that], one: I will terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement. Tapusin ko ‘yan pu**** in*** yan [I’ll end that son of a bitch],” Duterte said in a speech in the province of Leyte.
The President said he is giving the US government one month to reverse its cancellation of Dela Rosa’s visa.
Dela Rosa on Wednesday revealed that his US visa had been canceled and was told he can re-apply to secure a US visa again.
This was a month after rumors circulated about the cancellation of his visa supposedly because of his role in Duterte’s war against illegal drugs and the detention of opposition Senator Leila De Lima.
US President Donald Trump signed last month a spending measure that includes a provision instructing US State Secretary Mike Pompeo to ban the entry of foreign officials who have had a hand in the “wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima, who has been detained for drug-related charges.
The VFA, which took effect in 1999, covers the conduct of visiting American soldiers in the Philippines and serves as foundation for military exercises between the Philippines and the US.
According to Duterte, the US refuses to believe that De Lima is a “criminal” and that she was involved in the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons when she was still Justice Secretary.
Edited by JPV
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