Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Monday said he has yet to verify reports that the US government has revoked his visa due to his alleged involvement in human rights violations.
"Meron ako tsismis pero 'yung official coming from the US authorities wala pa akong natatanggap. Siguro magtatanong ako," he said in an interview.
An online report earlier said Dela Rosa's US visa was revoked due to allegations of extrajudicial killings (EJK) in the Philippine government's war on drugs. Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, led the anti-drug campaign, Oplan Tokhang, which took the lives of over 5,000 drug suspects.
In response, Dela Rosa said: "Granting if that is true, na ang basis of cancellation is 'yung involvement sa EJK, well they are very biased. They are misinformed. They are misled by their informants."
The ban, he said, was one of the reasons why he did not watch Sen. Manny Pacquiao's fight against Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada last July 20, 2019.
"May tsismis lang na ganun daw...Marami rin naman tayong kaibigan sa embassy na natulungan natin," he said.
"Sino bang masaya? Hindi ko na mabisita 'yung mga kapatid ko dun sa Amerika. ‘Yung mga pamangkin ko hindi ko na mabibisita. 'Pag may laban si Senator Manny Pacquiao, hindi na ako makapanood."
He said if the ban is confirmed, he will consider filing an appeal.
"Magmukha bang kawawa ang Republika ng Pilipinas pag ang isang senador ay mag-apela na papasukin niyo naman ako d'yan sa Amerika uli. Kung kawawa ang Pilipinas, hindi ako mag-apela," he said.
The senator said he has no intention to visit the United States at this point.
"[Entering the US] is only a privilege. That is not a right ...Kung ngayon ibabawal na makapasok ako ng Amerika, okay lang din at least nakapasok tayo at least twice," he said.