Recto wants ‘deeper’ reason for VFA scrapping
MANILA, Philippines — The cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa may be wrong but there must be a “deeper” reason why the Philippines should terminate its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.
“Dapat malalim ang dahilan (There must be a deeper reason). It should go beyond the denial of a US visa to a senator,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in a statement on Thursday.
“Because what if the US restores the visa of my good friend Senator Bato, are we then going to reverse course, and press the stop button to the revocation process which, per reports, has been started?”
“Paano kung bukas sasabihin ng Amerika na restored na ang visa ni Bato, ano gagawin natin? Is that the remedial action we are seeking or are we motivated by reasons more profound?” Recto said.
(What if tomorrow the US says Bato’s visa has been restored, what are we going to do? Is that the remedial action we are seeking or are we motivated by reasons more profound?)
He said the Philippines should be able to at least prove that the VFA is unfavorable to the country before revoking it.
“We must be able to separate the national interest from the personal. The national harm done by the VFA is an issue separate from the actions taken by the other government on a certain individual,” Recto said.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered last week the abrogation of the VFA between the Philippines and the US after Dela Rosa confirmed that the US government had revoked his visa.
“Personally, tingin ko mali ang ginawa ng Amerika kay Bato. BFF nila si Bato noon. Red carpet treatment sa FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) ‘yan. But our response should be commensurate,” Recto said.
(Personally I think, what America did to Bato was wrong. Bato is their BFF. They gave him a red-carpet treatment at the FBI. But our response should be commensurate.)
Dela Rosa, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, however, insisted that Duterte’s order to end the agreement was not only because of his visa cancellation.
“Ang sinasabi ko na nga hindi ako importante bakit ako ang gagawin nyong reason?” he said, noting Duterte’s claim that the visa cancellation was just the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
(I’ve been saying that I’m not important so why are you using me as a reason?)
“Napupuno na s’ya (Duterte) so dapat may aksyon syang gagawin. Hindi naman ako ang dahilan…” Dela Rosa also said.
(He is already getting impatient so he had to act. I’m not the reason here…)
But it would still be better if the two allies could find a way to rescue their “dying relationship,” according to the senator.
“The more friends, the better,” Dela Rosa said.
Edited by KGA
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