Clarete, who was Noel to friends and family, was active in various organizations in and out of school. He was vice-president, then president, of the organization of banking and finance students in his school. He joined the Omega Epsilon Xi fraternity and was a member of the Batangas City Student Forum.
School authorities took notice of him when Clarete and two other student leaders, Ismael Umali and Aurelio Magpantay, created the Makisama Party, which led the students in protesting against tuition fee increases. Their party also accused the school administration of restricting campus press freedom and of refusing to recognize an elected student council.
Clarete was suspended for his participation in these school protests.
In the aftermath of the assassination in 1983 of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., he started joining rallies denouncing the abuses of the Marcos regime. He became an active member of the Batangas chapter of the Justice for Aquino Justice for All (JAJA) movement.
He went missing with three other young men who had joined a Lakbayan (Lakad para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan) in Manila in the first week of March 1984. Clarete had told his wife and mother that he needed to go to Manila to secure a government clearance. He never returned home. His mutilated body and that of the others were found weeks later in Silang, Cavite, in a shallow grave.
The four “Lakbayanis” were given a solemn funeral together in Batangas City on April 13, 1984.