MANILA, Philippines—His predecessor in the House of Representatives was known for his politically-charged fashion statement yearly during the President’s State of the Nation Address and new Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Zarate was no exception.
Like former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, Zarate will wear a barong tagalog (national dress shirt of the Philippines) reflecting his advocacies to President Benigno Aquino III’s fourth SONA on Monday.
The neophyte lawmaker will don a hand-painted barong Tagalog by Eugene Horca, a Davao-based social realism artist.
He told INQUIRER.net that the design, protesting mining in Mindanao, “reflects the continuing struggles of the moro, lumads and majority settlers in Mindanao against large-scale plunder and exploitation of the island’s remaining resources.”
Zarate said the design criticized in particular “the massive entry of large-scale foreign-backed mining companies in Mindanao.”
“They not only destroyed communities but even lives of several human rights defenders in Mindanao,” he lamented.
Fellow Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares was also wearing his advocacies to Aquino’s SONA.
His barong will criticize the Visiting Forces Agreement in a design by Renan Ortiz of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines.