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Lacson on Duterte’s threat to end VFA over Bato’s canceled visa: Where is the connection?

/ 10:48 PM January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Terminating a bilateral agreement over a canceled visa? Where is the connection?

Senator Panfilo Lacson posed this question as he called “unfortunate and unnecessary” President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Manila and Washington over the cancelation of Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s visa.

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“A US visa is a conditional authorization granted to a foreigner. It may be canceled without explanation or justification,” Lacson said over Twitter Thursday night.

“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 added.

Asked how the President’s threat would affect the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and its long-time ally, Lacson said in a text message to reporters: “It will depend on how the US will react to the President’s threat which I would say is unfortunate and unnecessary.”

But for Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, the President may cancel the accord “with or without a reason.”

“That agreement (should) always be subject to review…He can even say that ‘times have changed and it is no longer needed by the country’,” Pimentel said in a separate message.

The chief executive threatened to terminate the VFA if the U.S. does not rectify the cancelation of Dela Rosa’s visa.

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This after the former top cop disclosed that the embassy confirmed that his visa had been canceled.

While the embassy did not disclose a reason for his visa’s cancelation, Dela Rosa surmised it might have been because of his role in the Duterte administration’s drug war which he led as then Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.

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TAGS: Features, Global Nation, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement
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