Dela Rosa thanks US for reinstating visa, but stresses he can live without it

Published July 9, 2020, 2:52 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday said that he did not seek President Duterte’s help over his US visa cancellation or ask the US government to reverse their decision.

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa (Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa / Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Hindi ko kinausap si President (Duterte) na i-work out na maibalik. Hindi ko diniscuss ‘yan sa kanya (I did not ask the President to work out to restore my visa. I did not discuss that with him),” Dela Rosa said.

“Conduct unbecoming naman on my part as a senator if magmamakaawa ka sa kanila. Kung ayaw nila huwag. Kung gusto nila ibalik, okay. Alam ko naman privilege lang iyon (It’s conduct unbecoming on my part as a senator if I plead with them. If they do not want to fix it, then don’t, if they want to, then it’s okay. I know on my part that that is only a privilege),” the neophyte senator added.

Nevertheless, Dela Rosa said he is thankful that he would now be granted a new US visa but reiterated that he can live without it.

“Masaya ako dahil iyon nga, nalungkot tayo nung nawala. Masaya naman tayo ngayon kung ibabalik (I’m happy, because when they cancelled it, I was sad. I’m happy now that it would be restored),” he said.

“Ibalik nila or hindi, alam naman natin na privilege lang ‘yan (whether or not they fix it, we know it is only a privilege). I can live without that,” he reiterated.

Dela Rosa, a trusted ally of the Duterte administration, had earlier confirmed that the US Embassy, on Roxas Boulevard in Manila, called him up to inform him he can now reapply for a US visa.

His visa was cancelled last year presumably due to his role as the chief implementer of the Duterte administration’s brutal “war on drugs” during his stint as the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.

According to Dela Rosa, he received the information after President Duterte and President Donald Trump’s phone conversation last April.

Dela Rosa rejected speculations that the US move to restore his visa is linked to the Duterte’s administration’s decision to terminate the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

“Let’s go back to the reason why (the Duterte administration) decided to terminate it, because of several reasons. Ang pagkansela ng aking visa ay nasa bandang dulo na lang yun. Matagal na siyang galit sa ginagawa ng mga Amerikano (The cancellation of my visa was just an afterthought. He (President) had been angry with some of the actions of the Amercans),” the nation’s former top cop said.

“We can only surmise, baka naging beneficiary lang itong aking visa, dahil sa mga pagbabago ng views ng gobyerno sa foreign policy (I think my visa application was a beneficiary because of the government’s changing views on foreign policy),” he pointed out.

 
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