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

Lawyers, judges, law schools, and even the Supreme Court of the Philippines have issued separate statements expressing support for a Manila judge who was vilified and threatened online for dismissing a government petition seeking to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as terrorists.

Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar junked the petition by relying on the evidence submitted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2018. The ruling pointed out that based on the definition of terrorism under the Human Security Act, the CPP-NPA-NDF cannot be proscribed as terrorists. Their activities can be considered rebellion but none have caused “widespread and extraordinary fear and panic” among the general population.

This dealt a huge setback to the government’s anti-terrorism campaign, which aims to end one of the world’s longest communist insurgencies.

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Alarming Pattern of Killings Continues in the Philippines

Written for The Diplomat

Gun attacks over the past month have killed several local officials in various provinces of the Philippines.

From February 17 to 26, four ambushes were carried out by unidentified assailants in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Sur in Mindanao; and in the municipality of Aparri and a barangay (village) in Batangas province in Luzon. In Lanao del Sur, the governor survived but four of his companions were killed. In Aparri, six were killed, including the town’s vice mayor.

The police described the killings as isolated incidents.

Lastly, the quick action of the police in apprehending the suspects and building a case against the mastermind of the Negros Oriental killing showed that authorities can successfully coordinate to deliver justice for the victims and their families. The same political will should be applied as well to other cases, even if the victims do not belong to influential political parties.

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