Pulong-inspired Dabawenyo battlecry gaining ground

Davao City First District Representative Paolo
Davao City First District Representative Paolo "Pulong" Duterte bares that the House leadership has taken out P2 billion from the National Expenditure Program (NEP) budget for the First District of Davao City and left only P500 million for Dabawenyos this year. LEAN DAVAL JR

The tagline “Dabawenyos are not for sale” has circulated online following the statement released by Davao City First District Representative Paolo “Pulong” Duterte which apparently is directed at the People’s Initiative (PI) movement in Davao City allegedly spearheaded by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Margarita “Migs” Nograles.

According to Rep. Pulong, he was informed that Nograles is spearheading the PI movement in Davao City.

“This so-called people’s initiative for charter change is nothing but pure PI. I am against this people’s initiative as this is not the people’s voice but the voice of a few who wanted to perpetuate themselves in power,” he said.

One of the three Cha-cha (Charter modification) mechanisms permitted by the 1987 Constitution is a PI. The other two forms are a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) and a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).

Gathering signatures in favor of the movement is one of the most important requirements for a PI.

Since December 2023, some Dabawenyos shared on social media photos of “petition” papers wherein the bearers allegedly asked them to affix their signatures in exchange of “ayuda.” The said petition shall be filed with the Commission on Elections for the proposal to amend Article XVII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution through PI.

Novet Ellorin Torrejos posted that someone visited their house and asked them to sign it. The bearer also asked their precinct number.

“To all Dabawenyos, do not sell your soul for a mere P100 or P10,000 in exchange for your signature. If you want to follow the minions of the person dreaming to be great in Congress to perdition that is your choice,” Rep. Pulong said.

Rep. Pulong also informed Dabawenyos, most especially in his district, that the House leadership has taken out P2 billion from the National Expenditure Program (NEP) budget for the district and left only a measly P500 million for Dabawenyos this year.

“To all congressmen ganging up on us, do not give me that kind of BS because I will not starve to death if you take my budget away. Ang kawawa is yung mga Dabawenyos na bumoto kay PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos),” he said.

He also said he heard from reliable sources that even the senators are explicitly requested to refrain from putting projects in his district.

“Hindi ako luluhod sa inyo para mabigyan ng proyekto lalo na at may 30% pang kinukuha ang isang pekeng panginoon. Again,ang kawawa ay ang mahal kong mga Dabawenyo. I have kept my silence all through these months since I do not want my constituents to suffer from the dirty politics in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Pulong said.

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