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 Bulatlat For the military, activists deserve to be arrested because they are members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA). This is easy to dispute. For example, why would the rural-based NPA conduct its training in cities like Bacolod when this can be done in the mountains of Negros? Based on news […]

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Despite the landslide victory of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s party in the 2019 midterm elections, he still faces several serious challenges that could potentially undermine his government in 2020. The Southeast Asian country next holds general elections in 2022. Duterte’s strong showing in midterm elections last year, following the presidential election victory that propelled him […]

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Written for The Diplomat magazine Church leaders are among the victims of extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses in the Philippines. Some bishops are now speaking about a bankrupt moral leadership in the country and they warned that Duterte is preparing to impose a dictatorial government. If the attacks and killings of priests continue, […]

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Written for The Diplomat Over the past few weeks, as the Philippine Congress has deliberated amendments to the anti-terror law, critics have expressed concerns that it would trample the people’s civil liberties and further enable a descent into dictatorial rule under President Rodrigo Duterte. Those concerns merit closer examination in terms of both the issue […]

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For the third time since 2016, the Philippine government has relaunched the controversial anti-drug campaign, known locally as Oplan Tokhang, amid continuing concern that the police-led operations have led to massive human rights abuses. Tokhang has long been a top priority of President Rodrigo Duterte, who vowed to eradicate illegal drugs in three to six […]

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This week, as expected, Congress approved Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao. The move is a significant one that has implications for many areas, one of which is the peace process recently terminated with communist rebels, and a proclamation on December 5 declaring the Communist Party (CPP) and the New […]

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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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Over the past few weeks, we have seen a number of bold announcements from the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte about the state of conflicts in the country that may in fact belie their actual status and broader significance. Last week, after five months, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the “liberation” of Marawi City, […]

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Though it is still early days, what has been the impact of the Mindanao-wide martial law on these ongoing peace initiatives thus far? Since the declaration of martial law, most of the headlines have been devoted to the Maute group and the ISIS threat in the Philippines, while very little has been discussed about its […]

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a reputation of being a staunch critic of the United States government. However, it is probably more accurate to describe him as being critical of former U.S. President Barack Obama but not of current President Donald Trump. A few months after becoming president in 2016, Duterte launched a series of […]

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