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 'east asia' Category

Southeast Asia’s ‘Proxy’ Presidents

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Myanmar’s Htin Kyaw has received praise for being the country’s first civilian president in more than half a century. But the media has also labeled him a ‘”proxy” and even “puppet” president because his position was granted through the support of National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Interestingly, it’s not […]

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What’s behind this so-called “Black Monday” campaign? It began last month when four officers of the human rights group ADHOC and an election official were arrested by the police for allegedly bribing a young woman to remain silent in relation to a sex scandal case involving Kem Sokha, the country’s second most prominent opposition leader. […]

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Suharto and Marcos died several years ago, but their legacy is still being debated. They were humiliated when they were ousted from power yet their names have undergone rehabilitation in recent years. It is not simply enough to resist proposals recognizing Suharto and Marcos as national heroes. The more important question that requires urgent answering […]

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Read more at The Diplomat A housewife was arrested and charged with sedition in Thailand for posting a photo of a red bowl given by ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Facebook. She was released after posting a bail of 100,000 baht ($2,800). If found guilty in a military trial, she could face up to […]

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Behind Cambodia’s Social Media War

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Over the past few weeks, there has been a focus in Cambodia on what one might call an ongoing social media war between the ruling party and its opposition. The Facebook page of the current Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, who has governed the country for more than three decades, now has more than 3 […]

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Remembering ‘People Power’ in ASEAN

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

In recent years, the “Occupy” movements and “Arab Spring” came to symbolize popular actions for social change across the world. In Southeast Asia, the massive gathering of citizens against an unjust political order is more widely known as an expression and legacy of “People Power.” The idea of People Power became a potent political force […]

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Written for The Diplomat Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking apology from those who criticized him in 2012 when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) failed to issue a joint communique for the first time in the organization’s history during Cambodia’s chairmanship. In 2012, some analysts accused Cambodia, then the ASEAN chair, of […]

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A ‘Prayut Effect’ in Southeast Asia?

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Written for The Diplomat Three new leaders have risen to power in Southeast Asia since 2014: Thailand’s Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesia’s Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. In some ways, the three could not be more different. Prayut was the army chief who led a coup and established a new government in Thailand. […]

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What Made Headlines in Southeast Asia in 2015?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Written for The Diplomat A look back at some of the top stories from Southeast Asia in 2015: 1. Landslide victory for Myanmar’s National League for Democracy. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be constitutionally barred from becoming president of Myanmar but her party secured an historic victory in the general election. A tenth […]

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Written for The Diplomat This year, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War, a two-decade conflict that pitted a poor and divided Asian nation against the rich and powerful United States. Understandably, it was a politically significant moment in world history. But there were other equally memorable events that took place […]

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