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.

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 Though transboundary haze pollution and the El Niño phenomenon are often reported these days across Southeast Asia, these issues deserve greater attention from regional leaders. These are no longer national problems that local politicians can easily address through rhetoric; the situation already demands a stronger action which can be effectively realized […]

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Written for The Diplomat Southeast Asia experienced numerous disasters in 2013: oil spills, dengue outbreaks, earthquakes, bus crashes, and massive floods. But the two biggest were the trans-boundary haze pollution that affected Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia; and super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which wrought devastation in the central part of the Philippines. The haze was caused […]

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Decree 72: Vietnam’s Confusing Internet Law

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

written for The Diplomat Vietnam is often accused of being an enemy of media freedom because of its notorious record of jailing dissident bloggers and blocking social networks. Its new Internet decree, which purportedly contains several provisions that ban the sharing of online news stories, could be added to the list of its crimes against […]

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Written for The Diplomat Some say a specter is haunting Southeast Asia today: bad neighbors and evil foreigners. For many people in the region, it was the non-locals who caused the biggest tragedies of the year – deadly haze, communal riots, even the problem of rising unemployment. This fear or hatred of the unknown, real […]

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Haze Exposes ASEAN Failure

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat “For what has happened, as President, I say sorry and seek the understanding of our relatives in Singapore and Malaysia.” This was Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono apologizing on national television Monday evening, a week after forest fires in Sumatra caused a thick blanket of smog to descend on Singapore and […]

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