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.

Written for The Diplomat magazine

Church leaders are among the victims of extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses in the Philippines. Some bishops are now speaking about a bankrupt moral leadership in the country and they warned that Duterte is preparing to impose a dictatorial government. If the attacks and killings of priests continue, it could inspire more church leaders to combine their spiritual activities and support to the people’s clamor for justice. In other words, Duterte is risking his presidency by provoking the wrath of holy men and women across the country.

Why Duterte Wanted to Talk Peace with the Reds Again

Written for The Diplomat magazine

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s order on April 4 to resume the peace process with communist rebels baffled many since the government has a pending court petition which seeks to declare the Communist Party (CPP) and its armed wing as terrorists.

Duterte’s advisers probably underestimated the capacity of the broad peace constituency in demanding a review of the government’s social and economic policies. Despite this, news of the revival of the peace process should still be welcomed as a positive development in asserting the implementation of reforms necessary to address the root causes of the long-running insurgency. Indeed, Duterte may have his own self-serving agenda in pursuing peace; but this should not stop peace advocates from campaigning for justice, protection of civil liberties, and the strengthening of democracy while the talks are ongoing.

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