A big slap in the face.
VP Sara Duterte stood out during the first SONA of President Ferdinand “Bong bong” Marcos for donning traditional Lumad tribal wear in place of the usual Filipinianas and barongs. Intending to pay tribute, Sara is seemingly oblivious to the past controversies under her father’s administration.
In 2017, Duterte Sr. threatened to bomb the Lumad schools during a televised news conference. Dubbing them “terrorists,” he claimed that the schools teach nothing but socialism and killings.
“I will use the armed forces, the Philippine Air Force. I’ll really have those bombed.. because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to rebel against government.”
Sara herself has had brushes with the Lumads. As former Davao city mayor, she pushed for the closure of Lumad Schools, citing their lack of academic records and learning reference numbers (LRNs) under the Department of Education. She released a City Peace and Order resolution that called for DepEd’s authority to cancel the schools’ operating permits.
However, Meggie Nolasco, the Executive Director of the Salugpungan Ta ‘Tani Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc, a community-based school run by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines Southern Mindanao, countered Duterte by saying that the STTICLCI schools had LRNs.
Ironic, not iconic.
VP Sara’s ironic display also caught the attention of the internet, who pointed out the contrast between the tribute and her family’s past stances and actions.
VP Sara Duterte wearing a "tribal dress," while their family, particularly PRRD, has a long record of killing, bombing, and torturing the Lumad peoples in Mindanao.
— Ren Corporal 🌸✨ (@RENderred) July 25, 2022
On the other hand, KatKat Dalon, a Lumad school graduate and a newly elected councilor of the UP Diliman University Student Council, attended the SONA as the chosen guest of the Kabataan Partylist.
Save Our Schools Network, an organization dedicated to preserving children’s rights to education, recognized Dalon as the “genuine representation of the Lumad struggle for the very rights that are threatened by the Marcos-Duterte regime.”
While Sara Duterte wears a Lumad-inspired dress to SONA, KatKat brings genuine representation of the Lumad struggle for the very rights that are threatened by the Marcos-Duterte regime.#SONA2022 #PSONA2022
— Save Our Schools Network (@savelumadschool) July 25, 2022