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.

Disgusting Congress ‘game of thrones’

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Published by Bayan Metro Manila It is sickening to watch politicians playing a petty ‘game of thrones’ over Congress speakership, pork barrel allocations, and partisan politicking ahead of the 2022 elections. This revolting spectacle is taking place amid worsening hunger, unemployment, and poverty levels in the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions are scrambling […]

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Two decades of the Left in Congress

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Published by Bulatlat In the 1990s we asked, what if members of the Leftist Democratic Alliance (DA) were allowed to serve their full term as Congress representatives in 1946? What could have been its impact on Philippine politics? We could only speculate an answer at that time but perhaps a better insight is possible now […]

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Published by The Diplomat The Philippine Congress adjourned its sessions this month without tackling bills on federalism, a key legislative proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte since his campaign for president in 2016. It is Duterte’s prerogative to name the priorities of his government as he enters his last year in office. Today, he can afford […]

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Published by Manila Today Here are the top people’s issues and people’s struggles of 2016. 1. Repudiation of Daang Matuwid The defeat of the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate reflected the seething rage of the people toward the corrupt, inept and callous regime of Daang Matuwid. President Noynoy Aquino started his term in 2010 with a […]

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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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Arroyo, Aquino and the Left

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Written for Bulatlat 1. Did the Left support Gloria Arroyo in 2001 and 2004? The Left was part of Edsa Dos uprising and support for Arroyo was incidental since she was at that time the Vice President who stood to benefit from Estrada’s ouster. In 2004, the Left didn’t openly endorse any presidential candidate. It’s […]

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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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