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 Philippine government will allow the screening of the Hollywood film “Barbie” after arriving at a conclusion that it does not clearly show China’s controversial “nine-dash line.”

Perhaps Filipino legislators should focus on responding to the provocative words of Chinese diplomats instead of interpreting doodles, crayon drawings, and fictional maps in movies.

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Philippine Senate Probes Afghan Refugee Deal

Written for The Diplomat

If the formal request of the United States government is granted, at least 50,000 Afghans fleeing from Taliban rule will soon arrive in the Philippines, where they are expected to stay for at least two months while awaiting their special immigrant visas. Most of the refugees are former employees of the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

But the issue is more than just extending assistance to refugees since there are potentially serious ramifications on security, sovereignty, and transparency in financing. Also, building shelters for those displaced by war is a sensitive topic in a country where decades of local armed conflicts have disrupted the lives of thousands. Some might even think that the government is ready to house foreign refugees while residents in Marawi City, which was attacked by Islamic State-linked groups in 2017, have yet to go home in order to rebuild their houses.

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