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.

Several governments and political parties in Southeast Asia have raised the issue of foreign intervention this year. In Malaysia, the police are probing some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for receiving funds from a foundation owned by American businessman George Soros allegedly in order to topple the ruling party which has been in power since the 1950s. […]

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Twenty-five years have passed since the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement, which ended the war in Cambodia and paved the way for the restoration of democratic institutions in the country. How has Cambodia fared so far? Various groups, including some of the 18 parties that signed the agreement, commemorated the anniversary last October to […]

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Negotiating Peace in Southeast Asia

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Peace talks have been successfully initiated in Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines – three Southeast Asian countries where local wars and ethnic armed conflicts have been in existence for several decades. The peace initiatives in Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines are off to a good start. Will it all lead to the resolution of armed […]

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Thailand’s New Constitution: A Blow to Rights?

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Thailand’s ruling junta got what it wanted on August 7: the public approval of a constitution that will reinforce military rule in the country. The same constitution also contains provisions that could further curtail the people’s right to freedom of expression. Some are questioning the result of the referendum because the opposition was prevented by […]

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How to introduce Duterte in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Written for New Mandala Mong Palatino explores the many sides to the Philippines’ new President, revealing there is far more that meets the eye than Trump comparisons alone can offer. The landslide victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the recent Philippine presidential election has been reported already across the world. Perhaps many in […]

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Southeast Asia’s ‘Proxy’ Presidents

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Myanmar’s Htin Kyaw has received praise for being the country’s first civilian president in more than half a century. But the media has also labeled him a ‘”proxy” and even “puppet” president because his position was granted through the support of National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Interestingly, it’s not […]

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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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Read more at The Diplomat A housewife was arrested and charged with sedition in Thailand for posting a photo of a red bowl given by ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Facebook. She was released after posting a bail of 100,000 baht ($2,800). If found guilty in a military trial, she could face up to […]

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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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A ‘Prayut Effect’ in Southeast Asia?

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Written for The Diplomat Three new leaders have risen to power in Southeast Asia since 2014: Thailand’s Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesia’s Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. In some ways, the three could not be more different. Prayut was the army chief who led a coup and established a new government in Thailand. […]

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