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.

Published by The Diplomat

In addition, mining, logging, and reclamation activities are expected to intensify if the proposal to change the 1987 constitution is passed by Congress. There are various drafts submitted to Congress, but all of them include several provisions allowing foreign ownership of lands and the exploitation of the country’s resources. Critics have warned that the Duterte-backed charter change campaign could lead to the wanton plunder of the country’s resources by big foreign corporations and their local proxies.

Finally, the Duterte government’s notorious record as a human rights violator also includes the intimidation and killing of environmental advocates. According to Global Witness, a London-based nonprofit group, the Philippines is the second deadliest country in the world, and the most dangerous in Asia, for land and environmental defenders. Global Witness recorded 48 cases of killings in 2017, second only to Brazil’s 57 deaths. The rise in killings is linked to the aggressive expansion of the extractive industries backed by a government accused of committing widespread human rights abuses.

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Duterte’s Anti-Women Behavior Sparks the Philippines’ Own #MeToo Moment

Published by The Diplomat

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is no stranger to controversy, and his current government has been under fire of late across a variety of issues, ranging from tax policy to its approach to China and the South China Sea. We saw yet another sign of this recently with a social media campaign criticizing Duterte’s anti-women and misogynist behavior.

The social media campaign, which mobilized popular support among women netizens and activists, used the hashtags #BabaeAko (I am a woman) and #LalabanAko (I will fight back) while encouraging women to post videos countering the anti-women remarks of the president.

#BabaeAko echoes the global #MeToo movement, which inspired women to share their stories of sexual abuse and express solidarity with others who also experienced the same violence. Like #MeToo, the Philippines’ #BabaeAko provided a space for women to speak out against abuse and hate perpetrated by powerful men in society. But unlike #MeToo, #BabaeAko is directly political since it focuses on the president, who remains unapologetic up to this day. #BabaeAko also clearly and immediately identified what it wanted to challenge: Duterte’s sexism and his anti-women policies. It is an indictment of Duterte’s failure to enact an inclusive social reform agenda.

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