Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

In recent years, the “Occupy” movements and “Arab Spring” came to symbolize popular actions for social change across the world. In Southeast Asia, the massive gathering of citizens against an unjust political order is more widely known as an expression and legacy of “People Power.”

The idea of People Power became a potent political force when it led to the ouster of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Many scholars believe that the Philippine brand of uprising – peaceful and spontaneous assembly of ordinary masses – inspired several democracy movements around the world. This trend also influenced the political tactics of opposition parties and grassroots organizations across the Southeast Asian region.

Read more at The Diplomat

What the ‘Death of Democracy’ Means in Southeast Asia

On March 2, 1962, General Ne Win led a coup in Myanmar (then known as Burma) and established a military dictatorship which lasted until 2010. Slightly more than a decade later, on September 21, 1972, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law which allowed him to remain in power until 1986. And just a few years before that, on September 30, 1965, a mutiny led to the killing of some generals which provoked the Indonesian military to retaliate by arresting and killing communists and suspected sympathizers of communist groups across the country.

In Myanmar, the Philippines, and Indonesia, these were historic events which made a lasting political impact. For local scholars and activists, these were the days when democracy died in their countries.

Read more at The Diplomat

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