The country lost a statesman on Saturday with the death of former Speaker Prospero Nograles after a lingering illness. He was 71.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles confirmed his father’s demise, saying in a statement: “Papa passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. May we please ask for your continued prayers. He is finally at peace.
“Our family would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for being a part of Papa Boy Nogie’s life and journey.”
Details of the memorial schedule are expected to be released soon.
Nograles, known to friend and foe as “Nogie,” died at a time when the family was celebrating the success of his youngest daughter, Margarita Ignacia or ‘Migs’ in the 2018 bar examinations.
A 1972 bar topnotcher and the 1985 TOYM Awardee for Law and Human Rights, Nograles was true leader and a devoted public servant who touched the lives of many people.
Before becoming Speaker, he was Vice Chairman of House contingent to the Commission on Appointments, House Majority Leader and Chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development.
As former chairman of the Committee on Housing and Urban Development, solving the growing squatters problem in the country’s urban areas is one particular subject that is close to Nograles’ heart. Since the 12th Congress, he had been passionately advocating that Congress should save a lot of people from foreclosures because of housing loan defaults by means of a legislated restructuring program. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for Congress to act on the measure prompting him to refile the same bill in the 13th Congress.
The CHUD became one of the most active committees in the House of Representatives and in just a matter of six months after his designation as committee chairman, the first bill he reported out (House Bill 214) became the Rental Reform Act orRwpublic Act 9161, which was signed on December 22, 2001.
Under his leadership, the CHUD became one of the most accomplished committees in the House of Representatives.
Nograles was born on Oct. 30, 1947 and was a consistent honor student from his elementary days at the Ateneo de Davao until he finished his bachelor’s degree (AB Political Science) at the Ateneo de Manila in 1967.
He took up Law at the Ateneo de Manila and graduated in 1971, the year before President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law.
He took the bar that same year and the results were released in 1972. He was number two among the top 10 successful examinees with an average of 90.95 percent.
In 1970, Nograles met Rhodora Bendigo at a Fiesta Ball in Davao City. They got married a few years later. They have four children.
“She was the date of my brother Jose but I was immediately attracted to her,” Nograles intimated.
Nograles’s first clients were mostly poor victims of military abuse and as result he was recognized as a human rights lawyer and in 1985 was awarded the TOYM Award for Law and Human Rights.
Nograles was also executive assistant to the president and Deputy General Counsel at the University of the Philippines from 1981-1982 and from 1986-1987 was the chief general counsel of the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Nograles ran under the opposition banner and lost in the Interim Batasang Pambansa elections in 1978. In he first congressional elections after Marcos fled the country however, he handily won as representative of the Lone District of Davao City.
In 1992, Nograles ran for mayor but was defeated by then Prosecutor Rodrigo Duterte.
He staged a political comeback in 1995 when he won back his congressional seat only to be defeated again in 1998 when he made another attempt to run for mayor.
It was in 2001 when he established a strong foothold in Davao City politics as he registered a landslide in winning the race for congressman.
Because of his exemplary performance, Nograles ran unopposed during the 2004 congressional and 2007 polls.
After his term as Speaker, he ran against Duterte’s daughter Sara in the Davao mayoral race but lost. Fortunately, his son eldest Karlo Alexei, also a lawyer, also ran and won as the First District Congressman of Davao City.
In the later part of 2015, Nograles and his family decided to set aside the bitter political rivalry with the Dutertes and supported Duterte’s bid for the presidency.
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