DAVAO CITY – Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte here has disagreed with the People’s Initiative for constitutional amendments.

In a statement on Tuesday night, January 9, Duterte said that someone informed him that PBA party-list Rep. Margarita “Migs” Nograles is spearheading the PI in this city.

“This so-called People’s Initiative for Charter change (Cha-cha) is nothing but pure PI,” Duterte said

There has been a resurgence in the push for Cha-cha in the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to modify the Constitution’s perceived “restrictive” economic provisions.

Cha-cha includes political and legal procedures for modifying clauses in the 1987 Constitution.

Article 17 of the 1987 Constitution states that amendments cannot occur within five years of its ratification nor more frequently than once every five years after that.

The Constitution has been in existence for 36 years.

“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 said.

Duterte said the leadership of the House of Representatives removed P2 billion in the allocations proposed for the people of Davao in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) and left only “a measly P500 million.”

“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 (Those who will suffer are the people of Davao who voted for President Marcos),” he said.

The lawmaker said that he also heard from reliable sources that even senators have been explicitly requested to refrain from putting projects in his district.

“Hindi ako luluhod sa inyo para mabigyan ng proyekto lalo na at may 30 percent pang kinukuha ang isang pekeng panginoon… Again, ang kawawa ay ang mahal kong mga Dabawenyo (I will not bow down to you to be given a project, especially when a fake lord is taking 30 percent. Again, my poor fellow Davaoeños are the ones suffering),” he added.

Duterte said he kept silent throughout these months since he did not want his constituents to suffer from the dirty politics in the House of Representatives.

He urged Davaoeños not to sell their soul for a mere P100 or P10,000 in exchange for their signature.

“If you want to follow the MINIONS of a person DREAMING TO BE GREAT in Congress to perdition, that is your choice,” Duterte said.