'Sad' Dela Rosa says nothing to lose with US visa cancellation

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2020 11:42 AM

Senator Ronald dela Rosa attends a Senate hearing, Aug. 20, 2019. The senator on Wednesday revealed his US visa was canceled. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MALOLOS, Bulacan — Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa said Thursday he was saddened by the cancellation of his US visa, but that he had "nothing to lose" over the incident. 

Dela Rosa said he would not be able to visit his siblings and their children in the US with the revocation of his 10-year multiple entry visa. 

"Hindi naman ako plastic. I'm sad. Pribilehiyo 'yon na nawala," he told reporters here. 

(I'm not plastic. I'm sad. It's a lost privilege.) 

The senator, however, said he had no properties in the US. 

"Baka maruming damit lang naiwan ko doon. Pero properties, wala."

(I may have left some dirty clothes there, but no property.) 

He said he would appeal the cancellation of his visa only if President Rodrigo Duterte wants the senator to accompany him to the US for an official function. 

Otherwise, Dela Rosa said, "Wala akong hakbang na gagawin (I won't take any action)." 

"'Pag grant ng visa sa 'tin is just a privilege given to a non-American. Kung tingin nila hindi ako karapat-dapat na bigyan, edi tanggalin n'yo. Wala namang mawawala sa'kin. Nakapunta na ako doon," he said. 

(A visa grant is just a privilege given to a non-American. If they think I'm not worthy, then remove my visa. I have nothing to lose anyway. I've been there before.) 

US President Donald Trump last December signed his government's national budget, which included a provision that allows foreign government officials to be denied entry into the US if they were involvement in the "wrongful imprisonment" of Philippine opposition Sen. Leila de Lima. 

De Lima is a critic of Duterte's war on drugs, which Dela Rosa had led as a former national police chief. 

The US, however, has yet to release an official list that identifies De Lima's jailers.

Dela Rosa also said the US embassy neither gave a date when nor reason for his visa cancellation. 

The senator served as guest speaker in the commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the First Philippine Republic here.