Pulong votes 'no' to con-con measure; here's the implication

It didn't take long for the voting result of the constitutional convention (con-con) measure in the House of Representatives to create controversy.

Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte (Facebook)

Just a couple of hours after the House overwhelmingly approved Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No.6 on third and final reading on Monday afternoon, March 6, Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte issued a statement clarifying that he actually voted "no" to the measure.

"This is to express our irresolution with the immediate approval of RBH No. 6," Rep. Duterte said.

"To reiterate, we are not in opposition against the said measure per se, but we suppose that it is not timely, our country is facing more pressing social and economic issues, like inflation and poverty among others, that we need to prioritize," he said.

"Billions to be allocated for a constitutional convention could be allocated instead to other programs intended to improve the living conditions of thousands of Filipino families," the solon nicknamed "Pulong" further said.

Officially, RBH No.6, which seeks the creation of a con-con for the purpose of introducing amendments to the 1987 Constitution, or Charter change (Cha-cha), garnered a vote result of 301-6-1 (yes-no-abstain) during nominal voting.

While Rep. Duterte's vote won't make any difference in the result, it may have an impact outside of the House plenary because of his surname.

After all, the Davao lawmaker is the son of former president Rodrigo Duterte and the brother of incumbent Vice President Sara Duterte.

The Duterte family--still a formidable name in Philippine politics--has staunch allies in the 24-member Senate, namely Senators Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, Bong Go, Francis Tolentino, and Robin Padilla.

For the con-con measure--or the entire Cha-cha efforts, for that matter--to succeed, the House members must be on the same page as their Senate counterparts. It is a numbers game, after all.

The official nominal voting tally for RBH No.6 remains at 301-6-1, since it wasn't changed up until the end of the session Wednesday night. The session adjourned just before 7 p.m.

This means that the former presidential son's negative is not yet reflected on official record.

Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman, Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Camarines Sur 3rd district Rep. Gabriel Bordado; and Makabayan solons ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel were the six solons with the recorded "no" votes against RBH No.6.