A lawyer from Cebu criticized Nieto’s blog post which initially aimed to deny the amendments in the Magnitsky Act during the adoption of the 2020 US Budget, certain provisions of the latest amendment of the said law which previously applied to human-rights violators who has hand on the unlawful detention of Russian whistleblower Sergie Magnistky now supposedly banning certain Filipino politicians and social-media influencers who willfully supported the unjust detention of Senator Leila De Lima as well as those who voted in support of Duterte’s vicious mass slaughter of innocent civilians under the pretense of his War on Drugs.
Atty. Vincent Isles is a lawyer and partner of Mendoza Lee Isles Mendoza Law Offices. He’s previously been one of the keenest supporters of Duterte in Cebu. He even helped in building up Duterte’s presidential campaign during which Duterte is not yet fully committed to running for President and also even before nincompoops like Thinking Pinoy came into the picture.
Nevertheless, he has since reneged his support for the President and has since been very vocal on many of Duterte’s unjust and corrupt policies. He is one Cebu’s influential leader of citizen-backed resistance groups such as the much renowned Cebu Action Group (CAG) which organized and joined many important rallies and activities calling out the government as well as spreading public awareness on controversial issues concerning Federalism and extra-judicial killings.
Here’s his prolific observation on Nieto’s flawed understanding of how US Laws and his seemingly keyword-trinsic approach when reviewing public documents. Of course, already fueled by the sole desire of putting a dent to the Magnitsky Act, which also includes him as one of the people banned to enter the United States for his part in spreading disinformation to aid in the persecution of Senator Leila De Lima and of course misleading the public surrounding the mass-butchery of suspected drug-users and dealers living in the slums.
Here’s Atty. Vincent Isles post :
To be fair to RJ Nieto and similar-minded individuals, it is not that easy to decipher the appropriations acts of the United States Congress.
Unlike in the Philippines where the Congress is mandated to pass a general appropriations law which will include everything to be expended for the next fiscal year (see Sec. 22, Art. VII), the United States could pass laws for specific expenditures. More importantly, “riders” (provisions in the appropriations law which do not deal with the expenditures per se but on other things – e.g. a ban on certain personalities entering the U.S.) which are prohibited in the Philippines are perfectly fine in the U.S. legal system. They also incorporate by reference, which, simply put, makes the committee report part of the law, unless negated by the law itself.
Thus, when I first try to figure out where the actual text related to Sen. De Lima is, it took me some time. I do admit this was the first time I tried interpreting how the U.S. Congress does it. (I had planned to create my own mini-guide how to get to the actual text, but there are already guides how to do that.)
Mr. Nieto’s fault is his inability to move beyond partisanship and really try to understand if the ban is in effect, despite the reaction of the Palace which indicate that it is indeed in effect. I suspect he looked at the final text, did a string search, and realizing with glee that the text string is not there, proceeded to mislead his followers by his wrong interpretation of the law. In fact, it was only when I did the string search, and I could not find the string (“de lima” and “delima”) did I try to understand how the appropriations act was structured.
This readiness to support our stance with whatever we’ve found (or not found) is not unique to those supporting the current regime, but also those who are yearning for the good old days of human rights as fundamental concepts. I had also been guilty of this, posting some time ago that a pro-administration’s senatorial candidacy is being withdrawn because of his very low ratings in the polls, until I was corrected by someone who personally knew the relevant things that indeed it was that candidate’s health concerns that prevented him from the continuing the race.
The difference is the ability to immediately recognize when one is mistaken – something that is still to be admired from the other side.
So despite the glaring admission of Presidential Spokesman Panelo that the US Embassy officials, they came to speak with regarding the imposition of the amended version of Magnitsky Act that covers Philippine officials who helped in the unjust detention of Sen. Leila De Lima and expressly supported the policy of mass-slaughter under Duterte’s War on Drugs.
Nieto’s ploy of misinforming the public were purely made out of desperation to try and leverage in most of his supporters gullibility to try and downplay the ill-effects of the Magnitsky Act, especially to people like him who in the past been enjoying West in many of his travels and is now covered under the ban on human-rights violators from the Philippines.
Mind you, this ban may soon be imposed by other countries such as Canada, Australia and much of the EU, which of course includes large swathes of European states that most Filipinos love to visit such as Austria, Italy, Belgium, Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Malta, Czechia, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Finland, Romania, France, Slovakia, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Sweden.