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 'media' Category

Laos’ Internet Law Undermines Free Speech

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat The government of Laos has signed an Internet law that claims to support the growth of the Internet but actually contains numerous contradictory provisions that undermine free speech and other citizen rights. When this was reported almost two months ago, the concern of many was the broad and vague cybercrimes enumerated […]

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Malaysia Threatens to Block Facebook

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Written for The Diplomat The Malaysian government revealed that it is studying a proposal to ban Facebook, in response to the rising number of abuses reported on the popular social network. Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek made the announcement after a Facebook user posted a doctored photo of a road accident […]

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Free Speech Under Attack in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Published by The Diplomat One undeniable and distressing sign that Southeast Asian democracy is regressing is the rising incidence of media freedom violations in the region. If political reforms are slow or are being reversed, the state of free speech is faring even more badly. The muzzling of the press under Thailand’s coup regime reflects […]

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The Legacy of Writer and Activist Win Tin

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat Myanmar is grieving the death of Burmese writer and pro-democracy leader U Win Tin, who died of renal failure on April 21 at the age of 85. Win Tin was editor of a popular newspaper in the 1960s, when he became critical of the military junta. Perhaps his most enduring legacy […]

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Written for The Diplomat Singapore’s netizens have a new legal weapon to defeat the “trolls” of the Internet after Parliament recently approved an anti-harassment law. Under the new law, anti-social acts such as cyber harassment, bullying of children, sexual harassment in the workplace, and stalking are now deemed illegal. A person found guilty of unlawful […]

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Public opinion and political truth

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Written for Bulatlat Public opinion has many uses but it should neither stand for truth nor should it be equated with political standpoint. Sometimes it is overrated despite its ephemerality. Consider the examples below: – Senator Miriam Santiago is the darling of the press and social media superstar who entertains the public with her intelligent […]

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Information Fatigue

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Written for Bulatlat If journalism is history in a hurry, can we describe social media as the hurrying of history? Because of mobile Internet, events are ‘instantiated’ in our timelines and webpages. We constantly access the Internet not simply to read the mirror images of this morning’s newspapers or videos of last night’s news reports […]

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False Transparency

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Written for Bulatlat Beware of politicians who like to insert the keywords ‘transparency’ and ‘good governance’ in their speeches. They are the same people who also use deceptive slogans such as ‘sustainable economy’ and ‘inclusive growth’ to justify the imposition of anti-poor economic policies. These are agreeable political concepts – who would openly oppose them? […]

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Beyond Internet Activism

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

My first column for Bulatlat The opposite of internet activism is not street activism but no-activism. Online petitions and political hashtags are indispensable in the campaign for change while non-action is a convenient option that only serves the interest of status quo. Internet activism is sometimes equated with impotence but at least it exists. There […]

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The Spokesman as Politician

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Which is worse: The politician liar, or the spokesperson who willingly and even gleefully lies for him? In the age of hyper communications, the politician must be an expert communicator. But if he has problematic communication skills, the next best thing is to hire a butt double, oops, I mean a spokesperson. The spokesperson must […]

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