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Anong konek? Lacson puzzled by Duterte’s threat to cancel VFA over revocation of Bato’s US visa

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Senator Panfilo Lacson is scratching his head over President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to cancel the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US) after it cancelled the 10-year tourist visa of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Lacson said in a tweet posted Thursday (January 23) that there’s a world of difference between the VFA and a visa.

“A US visa is a conditional authorization granted to a foreigner. It may be cancelled without explanation or justification. The VFA is a bilateral agreement between the Ph and the US that went through some careful and diplomatic discussion. Pray tell, where is the connection?” he asked.

In a speech in Leyte earlier in the day, Duterte threatened to terminate the VFA if the US government doesn’t reverse its cancellation of Dela Rosa’s tourist visa.

Duterte threatens to terminate VFA if US doesn’t ‘correct’ Dela Rosa’s visa cancellation: Tapusin ko yang p*tang i*a!

“Si Bato, ayaw nila papuntahin sa Amerika. I am warning you, this is the first time. ‘Pag hindi ninyo ginawa ang correction diyan, one, I will terminate the bases, the Visiting Forces Agreement. Tapusin ko ‘yang p— ina,” Duterte said in a mix of Cebuano, English and Filipino.

“I am giving notice and they begin to count, I am giving the government and the American government, one month from now mag-uusap kami, paalisin ko sila sa Visiting Forces Agreement,” he added.

The VFA, which took effect in 1999, covers the conduct of American soldiers in the Philippines. The country has several military agreements with the US, among them the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Dela Rosa, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, confirmed earlier this week that his visa had indeed been revoked.

It was Politiko which first reported about the cancellation of Dela Rosa’s visa on December 13 last year.

Dela Rosa said the US embassy in Manila revealed the status of his visa to him after he made a formal inquiry. The senator, however, said no reason was given for the cancellation of his visa.

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