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.

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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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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The Kingdoms of Southeast Asia

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Southeast Asia has four monarchies, each with its own unique traits. Brunei is an absolute monarchy, while Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia have the constitutional form. The history of these monarchies, including their future prospects, is discussed in the March 2013 issue of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. The essays in […]

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Human Rights Declaration Falls Short

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The document is a proclamation of governmental powers disguised as a declaration of human rights. This was the scathing reaction of more than 50 human rights groups in Southeast Asia to the recent unveiling of a Human Rights Declaration drafted by the 10-member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The signing of […]

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Southeast Asia’s Internet Dilemma

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Written for The Diplomat Surveillance cameras at internet cafés, harsh accountability standards for webmasters and the specter of self-censorship have many questioning the future of Internet freedom. The rise of information and communication technologies has not only revolutionized how people interact with each other but also forced many governments to operate in significantly altered political […]

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