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.

Candidates belonging to the coalition endorsed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won in the senate amid reports of widespread vote tampering and other irregularities documented on election day.

Election monitoring groups said there were more cases of faulty vote counting machines this year compared to the 2016 election. Local poll officials solved the issue by replacing the malfunctioning machines, but this already caused a delay which disenfranchised many voters.

Written for The Diplomat magazine. Read more

Midterm Elections in the Philippines: The Risk of a Pyrrhic Duterte Victory

Majority of the senatorial candidates endorsed by the coalition headed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte are doing well in mainstream surveys. Many of them are popular re-electionist senators who come from established political dynasties which means their election victory is almost assured, barring any unforeseen major scandal or crisis in the next three weeks.

But among the candidates who have soared high in the surveys are former presidential aide Bong Go and former police general Ronald Bato. These two are closely associated with Duterte. Go is known as the ‘national photobomber’ because he is often seen accompanying Duterte in official events. Meanwhile, Bato is the police general who gained global notoriety for enforcing Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’.

Written for The Diplomat Magazine. Read more

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