Another police general's US visa canceled, Dela Rosa says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Friday confirmed he's not the only Filipino official with an invalidated United States visa.

Dela Rosa told reporters an active police general, whom he refused to name, is facing the same fate.

"Kansela talaga visa niya, inadvise na siya (His visa was really canceled, he has been advised already)," Dela Rosa said in a media briefing.

He refused to give more details, but added that the same official told him that a retired police general was barred from going to the US also because of visa problems.

Dela Rosa stressed he has not verified the information about the retired police general, along with talks that the US also canceled the visa of those who served key positions when he was chief of the Philippine National Police from 2016 to 2018.

"Meron akong balita na lahat yata raw ng nakapwesto during my time ay nacancel (ang visa). Balita lang hindi hindi pa yan confirmed," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: I received news that the visas of those who served posts during my time were all canceled. That's not yet confirmed.]

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Dela Rosa as top cop in 2016, entrusting him to lead the bloody war on drugs until his retirement from the police force in April 2018. Government data show more than 4,000 suspects killed in anti-drug operations from 2016 to 2018. The government's death toll is now at around 6,000, but local and international human rights groups said there could be thousands more.

Dela Rosa earlier confirmed reports that his tourist visa has been canceled, and acknowledged it might be related to alleged extrajudicial killings under his watch as PNP Chief. Malacañang has repeatedly said there are no state-sanctioned killings, and that any possible abuse committed by law enforcement officials will be prosecuted by the country's independent courts.

The revocation of Dela Rosa's visa did not sit well with Duterte, who threatened Thursday night to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States if Washington does not "correct" its move.

That same night, Duterte already ordered to "start the process" of terminating the VFA, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed Friday. The 1998 agreement allows the American soliders to freely enter the Philippines without passport and visa limitations. It also states that the US government can retain jurisdiction over its military personnel if ever they commit crimes in the Philippines.

Dela Rosa said the move to end the two-decade agreement wasn't just about him but of "one-sided foreign relations."

"Mga sundalo nila libreng pumasok, lumabas dito sa ating teritoryo at nandito ang isang senador ng republika e barred from coming to their territory and nangyari because of their intention to tinker with our domestic affairs," Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: Their soldiers are free to enter and leave our territory but here's a senator of the republic being barred from coming to their territory and this happened because of their intention to tinker with our domestic affairs.]