Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Published by The Diplomat The consequences of Imelda’s conviction continue to spark the realignment of political forces and it could end up in a duel between a Duterte-backed alliance of pro-Marcos groups against an opposition coalition supported by a battle-tested anti-Marcos movement. That is further testament to a broader trend in Philippine politics, where the past […]

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According to the 1987 Constitution, Congress is supposed to convene a joint session in order to review the government’s martial law proclamation. But leaders of both houses of Congress said a joint session is unnecessary since the majority are supporting the president’s decision anyway. This is unfortunate, since there are questions related to martial law […]

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For two straight weekends, thousands have gathered in the streets of Manila to condemn the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Philippines. On February 18, the Catholic Church mobilized an estimated 20,000 people to participate in a “Walk for Life” as a form of protest against the rising “culture of violence” in the […]

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Published by Bulatlat 1. A civil war has been raging in the countryside since 1969. Landlessness, feudal exploitation, state brutality against the poor and marginalized – these are some of the issues that led to the formation of the New People’s Army. An armed force of the poor, by the poor, and for the poor […]

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Suharto and Marcos died several years ago, but their legacy is still being debated. They were humiliated when they were ousted from power yet their names have undergone rehabilitation in recent years. It is not simply enough to resist proposals recognizing Suharto and Marcos as national heroes. The more important question that requires urgent answering […]

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There were several surprises in the election results: First, the landslide victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is now set to become the Philippines’ 16th president. Second, the close race between Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr and neophyte Congresswoman Leni Robredo for the vice presidency. And third, the possible entry into the senate of […]

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The return of the Marcoses

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Written for New Mandala Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines like a dictator for two decades until he was ousted by the ‘People Power’ uprising in 1986. Three decades later, his wife and children hold elected positions in government. Now, his eldest son and namesake is running for vice president. Many people ask, especially international observers, […]

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Remembering ‘People Power’ in ASEAN

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

In recent years, the “Occupy” movements and “Arab Spring” came to symbolize popular actions for social change across the world. In Southeast Asia, the massive gathering of citizens against an unjust political order is more widely known as an expression and legacy of “People Power.” The idea of People Power became a potent political force […]

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Written for The Diplomat The year 1965 is politically significant in several Southeast Asian countries: Singapore became an independent nation, Ferdinand Marcos was elected president of the Philippines, and an anti-communist purge killed at least half a million people in Indonesia. Singapore separated from the Malaysian Federation and subsequently, an independent government was established led […]

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Generation X: The Bridge Generation

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Written for Manila Today Two generations have dominated and are still dominating the early years of the 21st century. To borrow a few terms from American pop sociology, these are the baby boomers (our parents) and the millennials (our children). We stand in between these two generations which are separated by half a century. We […]

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