Pulong opposes cha-cha, bares Davao budget impact

PBA Partylist Rep. Atty. Migs Nograles (left), Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Duterte (right)
PBA Partylist Rep. Atty. Migs Nograles (left), Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Duterte (right)SunStar Davao File Photo

FIRST District Representative Paolo "Pulong" Z. Duterte expressed strong opposition to the people's initiative for charter change.

In a statement on January 9, 2024, he criticized the movement led by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Representative Margarita "Atty. Migs" Nograles in Davao City, calling it a scheme by a few individuals to consolidate power rather than a true reflection of the people's will.

"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," Duterte wrote in the statement.

Duterte disclosed that approximately P2 billion was diverted from the National Expenditure Program (NEP) budget of Davao City's first district, leaving only P500 million allocated for the residents.

He said the budget cut wouldn't affect him personally.

“I will not starve to death if you take my budget away. Ang kawawa is yung mga Dabawenyos na bumoto kay PBBM (It's the Dabawenyos who supported PBBM who will bear the brunt),” Duterte said.

Additionally, Duterte revealed that some senators had explicitly requested to withhold projects from his district. He asserted his refusal to yield to such pressure, especially when alleged kickbacks were involved.

“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. 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,” Duterte said.

However, in a previous official statement from December 16, 2023, Rep. Nograles denied any intention to run for Mayor of Davao and distanced herself from political maneuvering.

Nograles said, “I refuse to be exploited, used as a clickbait, and stay in a place which is not in line with my values and morals.” 

She has yet to issue an official statement on Duterte's statement. RGP


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