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.

Published by Manila Today Hungry farmers asking for rice. Typhoon victims decrying government neglect. Netizens marching against corruption. These protests unmasked the ‘Daang Matuwid’ program as an empty slogan of a regime that insidiously perpetuates foreign dominance and elite oppression in the country. It is only now we appreciate the full and potent significance of […]

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Written for The Diplomat The 48th foreign ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Malaysia concluded by releasing a communique last week. As expected, most media reports focused on the position of ASEAN with regard the South China Sea dispute involving China. This is newsworthy because the issue has regional implications and […]

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Singapore’s 2013 “Robin Hood” Budget

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

With its 2013 budget, the Singaporean government has devised a series of programs and incentives to promote quality growth and build a more inclusive society, especially for its children, low-income workers and the elderly. Presented to the public on February 25, the budget aims to tighten policies on foreign workers, provide a three-year transition support […]

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Politics as Sound Bite

Monday, January 7th, 2013

One liners, sound bites, SMS and twitter reactions are inferior substitutes to a well-written political manifesto. The essence of a political standpoint can’t be adequately represented by 140 characters or even by hysteric rhetoric. Yes, a charming slogan or a witty phrase, and a fiery quote can agitate a crowd, inspire the electorate, and trigger […]

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The Budget is still not enough

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Manifestation delivered in the plenary of the House of Representatives on September 11, 2012. Thanks to Marjo and @kabataanpl In the past two years, the Aquino administration has imposed drastic cuts in the budget of state universities and colleges. It didn’t even allot capital outlay funds to SUCs which are needed to upgrade and modernize […]

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Initial review of the 2013 budget based on the DBM presentation The Noynoy Aquino government is calling the P2.006 trillion proposed budget an ‘empowerment budget’ that will benefit the people, especially the poor. But since the budget (based on the Department of Budget and Management presentation) is loaded with more pork, doleouts, and fat bonuses, […]

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The Right to Strike!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Privilege speech delivered last September 26, 2011. Thanks to @kabataanpl and @adarna for helping me in drafting this speech. Mr Speaker I rise to defend the right of our youth to participate in political activities. Last Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte urged the students to focus on their studies instead of participating in rallies. […]

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Unhealthy Health Budget

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Speech delivered on September 12, 2011 during the plenary budget deliberations. Thanks to @kabataanpl and Diane for drafting the interpellation notes. 1. The president, through the budget message, reported that in order to improve maternal health, and the well-being of infants, the government has allocated P5.1 billion for the implementation of the Health Facilities Enhancement […]

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Support our State Universities and Colleges

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Speech delivered on September 7, 2011 during the plenary budget deliberations In lieu of an interpellation, this representation will be making an appeal to the leadership of the House, and to all Members of this Chamber to challenge the budget priorities of the Aquino government, as far as the funding of the education sector is […]

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First week of 2012 budget deliberations

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

“The budget is the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies.” – Joseph A. Schumpeter This year’s budget deliberations are significant for the following reasons: 1) The budget submitted to Congress a day after the State of the Nation Address is the first to be completely drafted by the government of President Noynoy […]

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