Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Archive for the 'congress' Category

Published by Bulatlat Inspired by the success of the broad people’s movement that ousted the corrupt presidency of Joseph Estrada in January 2001, many activists became more determined to campaign for the congressional bid of Bayan Muna partylist. Everybody was excited to volunteer and make history by sending three Leftist leaders to Congress. It may […]

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‘Groundhog Day’ in Congress

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Written for Bulatlat Of all the films in all the cable channels in all the world, they had to show the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day inside the members’ lounge of the Philippine House of Representatives. Seeing the character Phil Connors enduring an ‘eternal recurrence’ in the movie made me realize that it’s an apt metaphor for […]

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Written for Bulatlat Some academics lauded a partylist legislator who resigned from Congress because of the latter’s inability to faithfully represent and defend the majority position of his political party. In particular, the legislator said he already disagrees with the stand of his party to remain a coalition partner of the president whom he described […]

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Why college is better than congress

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat I was a congressman for four years (2009-2013) which equaled the number of my undergraduate years at UP Diliman (1996-2000). When asked about my two-term stint in Congress, I often claim that it’s like college but not quite like college. Of course it’s a joke since my college life was many […]

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Published by Bulatlat I’m an ex-con or ex-congressman. I was a two-termer (not two-timer) who represented the country’s first elected youth party. I was the third poorest solon and believe it or not I left the institution without getting rich. I have no relatives in government, I didn’t call Garci, and I certainly didn’t have […]

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Manny Pacquiao as Legislator

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat For his fans around the world, he is the greatest boxing champion of our time. For fellow Filipinos, he is the humble hero of the masses and pride of the Philippines. But for Sarangani residents in the southern region of Mindanao island, Manny Pacquiao is more than an athlete and living […]

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Written for Global Voices, The Bridge project What are the duties of a party list legislator? Draft laws, participate in plenary debates, and yes, even climb mountains. A lawmaker’s job is to articulate the demands of a constituency. Therefore, a lawmaker must regularly consult his people. In the context of a Third World agrarian archipelago […]

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Congress Lobbying

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Based on my presentation during the Emerging Youth Leaders training at the Asian Institute of Management, July 20, 2013 1. There are lobbyists and there are registered lobbyists. But in the Philippines, there are only lobbyists. Unknown to many, a law was signed in 1957 which was supposed to regulate lobbying in Congress and in […]

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Dear Neophyte

Monday, July 1st, 2013

As I write this, there seems to be frantic race in Batasan to file the first set of bills in the 16th Congress. It’s a futile effort since the date of filing has no bearing in the calendaring of measures dictated by the powerful Rules Committee. Furthermore, being an early porker or early bird doesn’t […]

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There and Back Again

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The House of Representatives honored its own members last June 5 by distributing medals, plaques, and other mementos to first, second, and third termers of the 15th Congress. It was the most disgusting selfie moment of the year. What could be a more ghastly way of wasting taxpayers’ money than staging a superfluous pomp for […]

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