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.

Archive for January, 2013

Written for The Diplomat The inclusion of online libel in the Philippine anti-cybercrime law has raised fears that it would lead to the restriction of free speech and expression in the local internet community. It’s one of the issues to be discussed next week by the Supreme Court, which is set to hear oral arguments […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia’s January Spring

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Written last January 14 So far, it has been an awful beginning for the year 2013 in Southeast Asia: Myanmar’s military launched airstrikes against Kachin rebels which dimmed hopes of a peaceful settlement of the civil war; prominent Laos activist Sombath Somphone has remained missing and has probably become a victim of state-sanctioned enforced disappearance; […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Apparently, the CCTV doesn’t lie. What appears on the CCTV screen is accepted as visually accurate, even true. It seems to be the latest truth-telling device which TV networks have been using to expose the petty and heinous crimes committed by the poor. The TV image is manipulated in the news editing room, the internet […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Politics as Sound Bite

Monday, January 7th, 2013

One liners, sound bites, SMS and twitter reactions are inferior substitutes to a well-written political manifesto. The essence of a political standpoint can’t be adequately represented by 140 characters or even by hysteric rhetoric. Yes, a charming slogan or a witty phrase, and a fiery quote can agitate a crowd, inspire the electorate, and trigger […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Indonesia’s Rising Star: Jokowi

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo or Jokowi is a rising star in the Southeast Asian region. While Burmese President Thein Sein may be grabbing the most headlines of any Southeast Asian leader, Jokowi’s rapid ascent up Indonesia’s political ladder deserves more attention than it is given by the international media. Who is Jokowi and why is […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Disappearing Real in the Virtual

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

A new library building was recently inaugurated in a public high school in the quaint town of Mauban, Quezon. During the ribbon cutting ceremonies, the mayor proposed to use the facility as a Community eCenter. He added that PLDT, which has a signal tower in front of the school, might be persuaded to provide an […]

Read the rest of this entry »