Lorenzana says no idea on 'rumored' US visa cancellation

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2020 01:18 PM

Secretary of National Defense, Maj. General Delfin Lorenzana headlines the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials briefing for rescued Catholic Priest Chito Suganob during the briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Sept. 18, 2017. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday he had no idea if his diplomatic visa had already been revoked by the United States, as reported by Sen. Imee Marcos.

"'Di ko alam. 'Di naman ako sinabihan ng US embassy na canceled na diplomatic visa ko," Lorenzana told Radyo Pilipinas in a text message.

This was a day after Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa confirmed that his travel permit to the USA has been canceled.

Dela Rosa earlier said he did not receive a notice from the US embassy, and only confirmed the cancellation of his visa after he inquired about it.

The US embassy did not provide reasons for the cancellation, but Dela Rosa said it may be linked to his role to President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs where thousands were killed.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Duterte's decades-old aide, said the cancellation of Dela Rosa's visa may also be due to his role in the detention of opposition Sen. Leila de Lima.

De Lima has been detained since February 2017 after Duterte's allies alleged that she masterminded the production and sale of narcotics in the national penitentiary under her watch as justice secretary. 

A provision in the US 2020 federal budget said that De Lima's jailers will be banned from entering the US, but Washington has yet to release an official list of which officials were included on the list.