Sona 2017 red carpet: Mirror, mirror who’s best dressed of them all
(Updated, 2:09 a.m. July 25, 2017) Prominent guests were elegantly attired when they showed up and strolled on the red carpet at the House of Representatives on their way to the plenary hall to witness President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday afternoon.
Vice President Leni Robredo, wearing a red ethnic dress, avoided once again the red carpet and went straight to the plenary hall.
Senators Francis Escudero and wife actress Heart Evangelista, Grace Poe and husband Neil Llamanzares, Sonny Angara and wife Tootsy, and Joel Villanueva and wife Gladys, and JV Ejercito and wife Hyacinth walked the red carpet a few hours before Duterte addresses the nation on Monday at 4 p.m.
Evangelista, a best-dressed favorite during the annual event, said she always tries to make her attire every Sona simple. “I actually try to make it even lowkey as possible,” she told reporters.
Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos, wearing a purple ethnic top, also attended the Sona despite being ordered detained over a P66 million purchase of government vehicles using funds for tobacco farmers.
Marcos said she is still unsure if she would attend Tuesday’s House probe on the alleged anomaly involving the provincial government’s tobacco funds, over which her six employees – the so-called “Ilocos Six” – were ordered detained at the lower House for contempt.
“I think it’s disgraceful that they continue to be here 55, 54 days na sila, ang aking mga lola eh talagang hanggang ngayon narito pa rin at hindi sila pinag-bigyan ng kalayaan (until now, my allies remained detained, and have not been granted freedom),” Marcos told reporters.
Marcos said she attended the Sona to express support for President Duterte.
“Well I’m here simply to support my president. Binoto ko sya. For a change, ‘yung mga presidente kasi minsan minsan lang namin na-boto at tuwang tuwa naman ako. Nakikita naman natin, sa loob ng isang taon may bagong buhay, may bagong lakas ang Pilipino,” she said.
(For a change, because we rarely vote for a winning president, and I am really happy. It’s obvious that in just one year, the Filipinos have been given a new life, a new strength.)
Actor and Duterte supporter Robin Padilla and his brother Rommel also went to Batasan to personally hear the President’s report.
Cabinet secretaries Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, and Cayetano’s predecessor at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Perfecto Yasay were also present.
Panelo said Monday’s Sona is “historic in the sense that this is the first time we have (a) president who has accomplished so many things in a year.”
Former president and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada at the red carpet also expressed support for Duterte, and for his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“In Congress (he has) overwhelming support. That’s a good sign, that Filipinos are united under one man,” Estrada said.
Maguindanao Governor Toto Mangudadatu and House Deputy Speaker and Maguindanao Representative Bai Sanda Sema came wearing a barong and dress made of the traditional Mindanao Inaul textile.
Marga Nograles, the wife of Davao city Rep. Karlo Nograles, said her attire was garnished with beads by the T’boli ethnolinguistic group in Mindanao.
Batangas Representative Vilma Santos also wore a dress with an ethnic design.
Makabayan lawmakers meanwhile wore statement attires in protest of President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro wore pins and shawl bearing words “No to martial law.”
Meanwhile, Gabriela Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas in their attire called for the regularization of jobs and an end to martial law in Mindanao.
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat wore an Igorot-themed ensemble.
Others spotted in the red carpet were Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano and brothers Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles and PBA Representative Jericho Nograles. IDL/rga/ac