Bato confirms his US visa has been canceled

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020   •   991

Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa confirmed on Wednesday (January 22) that the United States (US) has cancelled his visa.

Dela Rosa said he was informed about the cancellation of his visa when he made an inquiry about his visa status on Monday (January 20).

“I received their official answer […] informing me that my visa is no longer valid for travel to the United States,” he said in an interview.

The Senator also said the US Embassy did not provide any reason regarding the cancellation of his visa or until when the visa will remain canceled. However, he can still reapply for another visa.

“No reason was stated,” Dela Rosa said. “Should I want to apply for another visa, I may apply.”

A resolution was filed before the upper chamber of the US Congress which allows the US Executive Branch to impose travel restrictions and sanctions against human rights violators including officials involved in the detention of former Senator Leila de Lima.

However, there is still no confirmation if Dela Rosa’s canceled visa is related to the said resolution.—AAC

US Embassy in PH denies cancellation, suspension of tourist visa

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Embassy of the United States in the Philippines on Monday (February 10) denied reports alleging the US of cancelling and suspending tourist visa applications and renewals.

“The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines is aware of a fraudulent advisory alleging the cancellation/revocation of tourist visas and the suspension of visa applications,” the advisory reads.

“These claims are not true,” the statement reiterates.

The Embassy stressed that no changes has been officially announced regarding the U.S. visa policy in the Philippines, referring to a post circulating on social media saying the US decided to change the visa policy in the country due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus and President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The US Embassy encourages the public to refer to its official website https://ph.usembassy.gov/ and official social media platforms which “are the best sources for accurate and current information.”

Likewise, the Embassy urged the public to report incidence of visa and passport fraud to its official page FPMManila@state.gov.

PH ‘drug queen’ loses US visa; faces warrant of arrest

Marje Pelayo   •   October 3, 2019

Guia Gomez Castro

MANILA, Philippines – Guia Gomez Castro dubbed as the ‘drug queen’ has nowhere to hide following the cancellation of her United States visa.

Immigration authorities said the Philippine government is coordinating with its US counterparts for Castro’s deportation.

National Capital Region Police Office Director MGen. Guillermo Eleazar noted that because of the cancellation of her US visa, Castro’s stay in the US is now illegal.

“That will make her an illegal alien so puwede rin siyang ma deport (she can be deported),” Eleazar explained.

“With the laws and the monitoring capability of the United States of America, for sure the efforts of our agencies liaising with our foreign counterparts ay liliit ang mundo niya roon (she has nowhere else to go),” the official added.

Back home in the Philippines, Castro is facing one warrant of arrest in violation of the anti-bouncing check law.

“You may consider this maliit na kaso pero kaso pa rin iyan and that’s the basis for us to arrest her (You may consider that a petty case but it is still a lawsuit and that’s the basis for us to arrest her),” noted Eleazar.

He explained that though Castro’s illegal drug case was already dismissed in 2009, they would ask for a review to determine the grounds for dismissal and who ordered it.

“We are checking [if there was negligence on the part of] the arresting officers, investigators and the witnesses,” the NCRPO Chief said.

Dahil noong panahon na iyon ay iyon ang sinasabi nating kasagsagan ng kanyang influence sa ibang mga pulis (Because that period was the height of her influence over policemen),” he added.

Meanwhile, Eleazar warned Filipinos residing in the U.S. who would attempt to help or hide Castro.

“Tandaan nila na kung they will harbor itong hinahanap na undocumented or illegal aliens na fugitive in a sense, ay baka magkaproblema sila sa existing laws ng United States of America,” Eleazar said.

(They have to remember that if they will harbor an undocumented or illegal alien who is considered a fugitive in a sense, then they will have problems against the existing laws of the United States of America.)

Castro is accompanied by her husband Dennis and brother Florencio ‘Bumbo’ Gomez who is a former policeman, according to Eleazar.

The Quad Intel Force is now coordinating with the International Police for the capture of Guia and her companion.

The NCRPO chief said they are preparing for the charges that they will file against Castro through testimonies and pieces of evidence that link her to illegal drugs trade in the country. – MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Relatives of victims in Negros killings call on Senate for justice

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 27, 2019

Relatives of victims in the Negros Oriental killings called for justice at the Senate hearing on Tuesday (Aug 27).

In the latest record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the New People’s Army (NPA) was allegedly behind five of the 11 killings in Negros Oriental.

Meanwhile, based on the record of Senator Risa Hontiveros, there had been 34 killings that happened in Negros Oriental this year which include the 14 farmers massacred in Nene, Sagay City, Negros Oriental last March 30.

READ: PNP Chief relieves Negros Oriental top cops over farmers’ killing

Juthida Callao, the mother of one of the victims, still laments the loss of her child.

“Ang sakit sakit sa kalooban namin na ganun ang ginawa ng NPA sa kanila, (What the NPA did is very painful to us),” she said.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Dangerous Drugs Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa assured they will do all means to curb violence in the area.

“We want to ensure that justice will be served and the perpetrators of the barbaric murders will be punished,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

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