Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

I’ve written several articles for The Diplomat about the Philippine 2010 elections. Some of them have been reposted in this blog. In the past week, I submitted these short election updates:

1. So Far, Not so Bad
2. Disenfranchised Voters
3. Philippine Elections: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny
4. Replace or Retain Voting Machines?
5. Election Bugs
6. Battle of the Endorsers
7. And the Winners Are…

I’ve also written weblog reports about the ongoing political tension in Thailand. My focus is the citizen media coverage of the protest crackdown in Bangkok. These roundups were written for the Global Voices:

1. Thailand: Protest blockade ends in violence
2. Bangkok clashes: Pictures, Videos and Twitter reports
3. Thailand: Red Shirt protesters remain defiant
4. Thailand: Arson in Bangkok, protests spread to other provinces

“Smorgasbord of snippets”

On the new batch of senators – Their mandate will end on 2016. Six of the 12 winners are incumbents, while four are former senators. Two are children of former presidents, three are children of former senators, and three are grandchildren of former senators of the Republic. Four are actors and five are lawyers. Seven are from Luzon Island, four are from the Visayas, and only one came from Mindanao. Nine are candidates of the opposition. The top senatorial candidate received more than 18 million votes while the 12th senator garnered almost 10 million votes. Surprisingly, a TV/film star topped the senate race. No actor won in the 2007 senatorial elections.

On effective endorsers – There are winners, losers, and endorsers during elections. The list of winners and losers are now posted online, but it’s also worthwhile identifying the effective endorsers in the recent elections. Candidates need endorsers to improve their ratings, but sometimes even the most famous celebrities can’t reverse the sentiment of voters. It’s not enough to buy the support of well-known individuals and groups; candidates should first and foremost convince the public that they are superior over their rivals.

Unbelievable numbers – The recently concluded automated elections in the Philippines were immediately hailed as successful for producing quick and credible election results. Indeed, the counting and transmission of votes were quick. But were they accurate? Some candidates are claiming they were cheated and they say they have the numbers to prove it. The auto polls are now finished but canvassing of results is still ongoing. Reports of auto fraud continue to rise prompting some analysts to rethink their earlier judgment about the auto polls.

On the PCOS machines – Filipinos may be satisfied today with the performance of the PCOS but once the euphoria has died down maybe they will remember the flaws of the PCOS machine which affected the credibility of the automated election system. Maybe Filipinos will cite the inadequate security features of the machine and the awkward ballot design that was used in the elections. There are more advanced voting machines used around the world and the government should seriously consider looking for better alternatives than PCOS. If the government opts to use the PCOS again, it should correct the weak features of the machine. More importantly, the poll body should start training its personnel so that it will be more competent in handling the next auto polls

Who are the Red Shirts? There are Reds, Yellows, Blues, and Pinks in Thailand. Let’s call them Thailand’s colored protesters. The political drama in Thailand can be compared to the Edsa Dos experience of the Philippines. I believe Thaksin is Thailand’s Erap but there are obvious differences. The Red Shirts are not the original provocative rallyists of Bangkok. The Yellow Shirts were more daring. Now these Yellows are in power

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One Response to “Flashpoints: Philippines and Thailand”

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