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

The awarding of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov highlighted the role of independent media outlets in challenging authoritarian governments around the world. In the case of the Philippines, it put a spotlight on how truth-seekers like Ressa have stood their ground in the face of the relentless state-backed attacks targeting the media during the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.

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Olympic Champion Hidilyn Diaz Deserves an Apology From the Philippine Government

Written for The Diplomat

Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history after winning the Philippines’ first-ever gold medal on July 26 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

After the award ceremony, Diaz talked to the press and shared the challenges she had faced before winning the gold medal. She mentioned her training outside the country, which forced her to be separated from her family; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her preparation; and the financial difficulties that led her to publicly ask for sponsorship in 2019.

She also cited how she was wrongfully accused by President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson of belonging to a network of personalities and groups involved in a destabilization plot against the government.

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