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

Candidates in the ongoing Philippine presidential campaign have relied on certain colors as part of their political branding. By choosing a particular color, candidates aim to unify supporters and mobilize them to reach out to more voters. Their success or popularity in the campaign trail is made more visible through the colors they have chosen.

It is expected that these colors will continue to compete for dominance ahead of the elections scheduled for May 9. These colors are useful for candidates and they make the campaign activities more visually attractive, but they can be a disservice to voters who may think that a color is an adequate substitute for the type of campaigning that promotes political parties, their platforms, and the track record of their leaders.

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How Long Will Rodrigo Duterte Remain Neutral in the Philippine Election?

Written for The Diplomat

During a recent provincial election rally, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his decision about not endorsing any presidential candidate, despite several hints that he is poised to anoint former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as his successor. Duterte has endorsed the local and senatorial candidates of his party but he stopped short of naming his choice for president by claiming that he is neutral.

Duterte could be simply being coy but it is more likely that he is just biding his time and waiting for the right political moment before making an announcement. As a cunning veteran politician, Duterte is known for making contradictory statements intended to confuse the public, especially his rivals. This is evident not just in his remarks but also in the actions of his subordinates.

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