Cases invoking “Magnitsky Acts” are mere political tools that can easily be challenged in court

The whole trouble with any notion of a “Magnitsky Act” regime applied across independent nations is that actually executing its tenets is inherently problematic and will prove extremely difficult. In the case of reported plans of the UK and European Union each implementing their own versions of this Act, the result is likely to be toothless at best as “whatever the shape of the UK’s Magnitsky laws, they will at least (as, when and to the extent that they are done outside the EU’s sanctions regime) be challengeable in UK courts, as opposed to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which in this context is frankly close to worthless.”


Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

That last point exposes a real tension in the concept of Magnitsky sanctions, which are essentially decisions by elected politicians about a set of people who, because of allegations made about them that may or not be true combined with preconceptions about the countries they come from, are often terribly unpopular with voters. In any civilised jurisdiction based on the rule of law, even such unpopular individuals deserve due process, which here means the right to test those allegations in an independent court.

Indeed, the manner with which a who’s who of Filipino Opposition “thought leaders” latched on to this latest buzz as their next political weapon of mass destruction proves just how much of a political circus precedents set by these political tools could set. In this instance, the largest Opposition bloc of partisans loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and their so-called “Liberal Party” (collectively known as the Yellowtards) have cherry-picked its “targets” coming up with lists almost entirely made up of people associated with the incumbent government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

What the Yellowtards conveniently omit from their hit lists are characters within their ranks who, themselves, have been alleged perpetrators of “human rights abuse” as well. Indeed the key subject of a provision in the 2020 US budget recently signed by President Donald Trump invoking the Global Magnitsky Act, jailed Senator Leila De Lima, was, herself, involved in unwarranted detention of an Opposition politician, former President Gloria Arroyo, when she served as Justice Secretary under Duterte’s predecessor, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III in 2011.

De Lima’s initial violation back then was in defying the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order on the travel ban against Arroyo. De Lima even risked disbarment for ignoring the highest court’s order. Senator Miriam Santiago likewise questioned De Lima’s action citing the DOJ had no legal basis to issue a watch-list order against Arroyo since there was no pending case against the former President and was only a respondent in a joint DOJ Comelec investigation on electoral fraud at that time.

This highlights the folly in how the Yellowtard-led Philippine Opposition are once again rallying around yet another colonial saviour. As recent polls have shown, Duterte remains an overwhelmingly popular president and the idea of former colonial masters meddling in a case that can be resolved only within a former colony’s criminal justice system and, in the process, insults its judicial institutions, runs counter to the sensibilities of real Filipino nationalists.

Much of the ado surrounding claims that certain cherry-picked personalities will be “banned” from entering the US is being kicked up by Filipino partisans who had grown accustomed to relying on America for moral ascendancy. They forget that Duterte won on the back of a campaign to renew a sense of nationalism in Filipinos derived from a more indigenous notion of the concept and not one based on a copycat embrace of all things colonial. Ultimately Filipinos will defer to the ruling of their own courts and will very likely, in the next election, show the world — and their former imperial overlords — where they can stick it.

4 Replies to “Cases invoking “Magnitsky Acts” are mere political tools that can easily be challenged in court”

  1. The “Magnitsky Act” was signed into law by former Pres. Barrack Obama. It is used to sanction and ban foreign government officials, who are alledge human right violators, and doing other acts that are not favorable to the U.S.

    The Magnitsky Act, itself is an “irony”, because they just Impeached Pres. Trump, without Due Process of Law, and they banned his witnesses and his lawyers, to be heard and participate in the Democrats secret impeachment hearings.

    The politicians who did this impeachment circus, violated the Human Rights of Pres. Tump. .. Former Pres. Obama, who signed the act into law, must be laughing now in the sideline…

    Anyway, we all know that Leila de Lima, is a crook, a drug dealer and a nymphomaniac…De Lima and her supporters are using the Magnitsky Act to Cover Up her crimes; and politicize her imprisonment, that convicted her of illegal drug dealing charges…

    This Magitsky Act can be used by corrupt and criminal politicians to Cover Up their crimes, with the aid of U.S. bans and sanctions; if you prosecute any criminal politician ; Human Rights violation is a good cover. It may even put them in power, like the Aquinos, who used this human rights violations , as their political cover, that resulted in the 1986 EDSA false narratives of their heroism and sainthood.

    Who knows, Leila de Lima, may even become a Roman Catholic Church saint; and her lover, Dayan, may even become a hero !

  2. Pres. Trump was impeached in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, and with the aide of Rep. Shift and Rep. Nadler..

    Speaker Pelosi, as of now, refused to forward the Act of Impeachment resolution to the U.S. Senate for trial and approval…so, Pres. Trump is still the U.S. President…

    I believe Pres. Trump, will win a second term in the 2020 U.S Presidential election…but the impeachment circus will go on, if Speaker Pelosi remains the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives…

    1. Well it depends if he could win or not but now there’s a limelight that Pres. Trump is truly backstabbed our president because he can’t do his pressure on the Democratic party who are overwhelm majority of the lower house & even to the American people who are now very disarray of his presidency & they want him to either loose on the election next year or through impeachment or even worse… “People Power”.

      Unlike President Duterte who are still very popular to the Filipino people for the past 3 years (8 out of 10 of them) and supports his “controversial” War on Drugs. But on President Trump, its a very different story.

      And Mr. Riyoh was right on his Youtube video two years ago on why our dear president should not go to the US in spite that Mr. Trump is very open for his state visit to that country:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.