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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Thursday welcomed reports that Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa will be granted a U.S. visa.

“Ang posisyon naman ng Pilipinas, insulto yung nangyari na hindi binigyan ng visa ang isang halal na senador ng bayan. So, nagagalak naman po kami na nalinawan ang mga Amerikano na hindi dapat ganyan ang pagtarato sa mga halal ng taumbayan na mga PIlipinong opisyal,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Earlier, Dela Rosa, the former national police chief and close political ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the U.S. Embassy in Manila called him up and offered to fix his visa problem.

Last January, the American government revoked the senator’s visa following the passage of a resolution seeking sanctions against Philippine officials involved in the detention of Senator Leila de Lima. This, in turn, led to the decision of Duterte to terminate the country’s 20-year-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the U.S.

Asked if the move would change the Chief Executive’s mind on the VFA abrogation, Roque told reporters: “Hindi pa nagbabago ang huling binitawang salita ni Presidente na ipagpapaliban po ng 6 months ang pagte-terminate sa VFA at itong pagpapaliban ay extendable by another six months. Yan pa rin ang posisyon.”

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