Residents from the 19 barangays in Calinan District voiced their opposition to the disguised People's Initiative for Charter Change in a protest on Friday afternoon, January 19, 2024.
Gathering at Rizal Park, they chanted "Dabawenyos are not for sale," holding tarpaulins and flaglets with the same message.
Some even chanted the name of Vice President and Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte.
According to Pedrito Cañedo Sr., barangay captain of Biao Joaquin, the 19 barangay captains of Calinan organized the protest, planning it for one month.
He said that around 100 individuals from each barangay voluntarily attended the rally.
Cañedo emphasized their disapproval of the "cash-for-signature" scheme, where every signature is allegedly worth P100.
"Kanang gipalakaw sa national dili mi gusto ana, ang gusto namo ang kanang fair, kanang unsay maayo nga pamaagi sa atoang gobyerno dili nang chacha. Dili nang perma-perna nga P100, dili mi musugot ana (We oppose the action of the national government; what we want is fairness, a better way for our government, not the cha-cha. We don't want that cash for signature that is worth P100)," Cañedo said.
Cresente Canada, barangay captain of Tamayong, said that even though they are from the hinterlands of Davao City, their signatures and dignity are not for sale.
"Pero bisan taga bukid ang Calinan District nagkahiusa me nga nagpamatuod miskag naa sa bukid me dili mi mga nawong ug kwarta (Even though we live in the hinterlands, the Calinan District is united as one, and this is proof that we are not after the money)," he said.
Participants in the rally included both young and old residents.
Kent John Stephen D. Paje, Sanguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman of Barangay Saloy, said that apart from barangay officials, the youth of Calinan also participated in the rally, expressing their opposition to the charter change.
He said, "Among nakit-an ug nasabtan gyud nga kining chacha usa kini ka pamaagi sa mga officials, mga gahaman nga officials nga makalingkod sila sa pwesto (We have observed and we know that this chacha is a way for the officials, these power hungry officials, to be in a position)," Paje said.
Meanwhile, 75-year-old Rosminda Amarilla of Barangay Talomo River participated in the protest to express her disapproval of the People's Initiative for Charter Change.
"Ngano usbon pa nga dugay na nga panahon, daghan na kaayog presidente nag tinguha ana, Wala may nahitabo (Why change it when it has already been a long time, and many presidents have gone through it, and nothing happened)," Amarilla said.
Before reaching Rizal Park, the residents of Calinan District had a motorcade around 12 noon, then proceeded to the park.
According to the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), approximately 300 participants were present at the rally. Previously, Congressman Paolo "Pulong" Z. Duterte and Congressman Isidro Ungab expressed their disapproval of the people's initiative, alleging that the signature campaign was orchestrated by leaders of the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist.
As of the latest update, PBA Representative Margarita "Atty. Migs" Nograles has yet to release a statement on the matter. RGP