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Now Reading: VFA SCRAPPING | ‘Duterte loves me’ —Senator Bato
VFA SCRAPPING | ‘Duterte loves me’ —Senator Bato
January 24, 2020 , 05:59 PM

JANUARY 24, 2020 — The Philippines’ former national police chief on Friday said he was thankful President Rodrigo Duterte defended him after he United States imposed a travel ban on him by threatening to scrap an key military deal.

Ronald dela Rosa, a sitting senator and the president’s close political ally, said the maverick leader would have done it anyway even if other Filipino officials were also barred from entering the United States.

He said he would personally thanked the president when they meet on Monday next week.

“Magpapasalamat talaga ako na ganoon niyo pala ako kamahal,” the senator, also known as Bato, said.

However, dela Dela, Rosa said he believed Duterte would also have threatened to cancel the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States to defend other Filipino officials.

“Regardless kung ako man ‘yan o ibang tao o senador, ganoon pa rin ang magiging reaksyon ng Presidente,” he said.

The cancellation of his U.S. visa may also have been a “tipping point” for Duterte, who may have been harboring hard feelings against the US for a long time, he said.

“It’s not all about my visa. Matagal na siguro ang Presidente nagkikimkim ng sama ng loob sa kanila. Umabot lang siguro ng sukdulan ‘yung sa akin at doon sumabog,” said Dela Rosa.

The senator also said he would like to advise Duterte to accept President Donald Trump’s invitation to attend the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Las Vegas in March.

“Kakalma pa ‘yan. Kung tanungin niyo ako, sasabihan ko si Presidente na kung ‘wag nila ibalik sa’kin ang visa, puntahan mo ang Amerika,” he adder.

Salvador Panelo, the president’s spokesman, told palace reporters the foreign affairs department has already started the process of terminating the VFA.

READ MORE: ICY RELATIONS | PH begins process to scrap VFA with US, Palace says

The Duterte administration’s move came after the President had threatened to scrap the decades-long pact in response to the revocation Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s 10-year visa.

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