Malacañang welcomes US offer to fix Bato's visa

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2020 05:55 PM

Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on June 1, 2020, sponsors a proposed law. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/File

MANILA-- Malacañang welcomed Thursday the statement of Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa that the United States Embassy has offered to process his canceled visa.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday said the US embassy agreed to process his visa after President Rodrigo Duterte and his American counterpart Donald Trump spoke over the phone.

“Nagagalak naman po kami na naliwanan ang mga Amerikano na hindi ganyan ang pagtrato sa mga halal ng taumbayan na mga Pilipinong opisyal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(We are happy that the Americans have realized that that was not how elected Filipino officials should be treated.)

It can be recalled that President Duterte in February axed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after Washington canceled the visa of Dela Rosa, who led his war on drugs as former national police chief. 

The termination of the VFA was supposed to take effect in August. 

The government last month, however, said it had suspended plans to cancel the VFA.

Roque however said the offer of the US Embassy to process the visa of Dela Rosa has no effect yet on the government's move to suspend the cancellation of the VFA.

“Kung ito ay dahilan para magbago ng polisiya sa VFA well hind pa po nagbabago," he said.

(If this is a reason to change the policy on the VFA, well, it has not changed.)