MANILA — Senator Ronald dela Rosa on Wednesday said he has received confirmation that his 10-year US visa has been canceled.
In an interview, dela Rosa said the US embassy confirmed the cancellation through an official letter dated December 27, but which his office only received on January 20, a day before his 58th birthday.
“I sent an official letter to the US embassy inquiring if my visa was canceled. I received their official answer the day before my birthday — what a ‘happy’ birthday gift — informing me that my visa is no longer valid to the US,” dela Rosa said.
“There was no reason given, only that should I want to apply for another visa, I will have to re-apply subject to US immigration laws,” he added.
He said he already expected the official confirmation as there was prior information coming from US embassy insiders.
Nonetheless, dela Rosa admitted that he was very disappointed with the turn of events.
“Tao lang tayo (I’m just human). I’ve been helping my counterparts from the US government, particularly their enforcement, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and other US agencies. My whole 34 years of police service, marami na rin kaming pinagdaanag samahan (we have good relationships) with our US counterparts,” said dela Rosa, a former chief of the Philippine National Police said.
“Ngayon after that ganito ang gagawin nila? Sino ba ang masaya diyan (Now, after that, this is what they do? Who will be happy with that),” dela Rosa said.
He said the cancellation of his visa means that he could no longer be able to visit his siblings in the US.
At the moment, dela Rosa said he has no plans to apply for another US visa but would reconsider his position if President Rodrigo Duterte accepts the invitation from US President Donald Trump, and if he is asked to accompany the President.
Trump has invited President Duterte to attend the “special” meeting between the United States and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) sometime in March.
“Just in case the President decides to accept Trump’s invitation, then sabihan niya ako na sumama ka then mag-a-apply ako ng visa (he asks me to go with him, then I will apply for a visa),” dela Rosa said.
He, however, said he will not seek President Duterte’s endorsement for his visa application.
“Yung normal lang na proseso. Yun lang ang sasabihin ko na reason na sinasama ako ni Presidente (Just the normal process. But the reason I will give is that I was asked by the President to go with him),” he said.
“Kung bigyan nila ako okay, pasalamat ako. Kung reject nila, wala akong magawa (If they issue me a visa, okay, I will say thanks. If they reject my application, I can’t do anything),” he added.
But given a chance to go to the US with President Duterte, dela Rosa said he would be willing to clarify the issues that US senators have been raising against the administration, especially in the war against drugs and the alleged extra-judicial killings.
“I should let them know the real situation, the real numbers, the real happenings in the Philippines. Because these Democratic senators who ally themselves to our anti-government officials are being fed with wrong information,” he said, stressing though that he would not be begging for the chance to talk to them.
“If given the chance, but I don’t have to look for a way,” dela Rosa said. Jose Cielito Reganit /PNA – northboundasia.com