By Ben Rosario
Former Speaker and Davao City Representative Prospero C. Nograles passed away Saturday. He was 71.
“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,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles wrote to friends of his father yesterday.
“Papa passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. May we please ask for your continued prayers,” said the young Nograles.
He added: “Papa is finally at peace.”
Details of the former House leader’s passing and wake have yet to be released by the family.
The elder Nograles served as leader of the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010 and represented the first congressional district of Davao City for at least five terms.
He was the first House speaker to come from Mindanao.
At the height of his popularity in the city in 1992, Nograles dropped a third term as congressman to stage an unsuccessful challenge to then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for the top local government post.
The two Davao City leaders who used to be close friends feuded since then until 2015 when the two reconciled. Nograles was among the strong voices that urged Duterte to seek the presidency.
Duterte and Nograles’ wife, Rhodora Bendigo-Nograles, are cousins, it was gathered.
During his term as congressman, Nograles authored at least 17 bills but the number increased when he was elected speaker during the term of then president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
During his comeback as Davao City congressman, Nograles was elected chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development and majority leader under then Speaker Jose de Venecia.
He had two sons who served as congressman during the 17th Congress – PBA Partylist Rep. Jericho “Koko” Nograles and Secretary Karlo.
The elder Ngorales was a graduate of Ateneo de Manila Law School and was among the top examinees of the 1971 Bar Examinations. He was an outstanding member of the Aquilae Legis Fraternity.
Former Davao City vice mayor and congressional candidate Paolo “Pulong” Duterte was among the first to send condolences to the Nograles family.
I and my family, including all of the Dabawenyos join you in your grief and we could only comfort you in this time of deep sorrow,” said Pulong. (With a report from Argyll Geducos)