By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang extended its condolences to the bereaved family of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles following his passing Saturday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace is saddened by the news of the death of the first elected Mindanaoan who assumed the House leadership.
“The Palace is saddened by the demise of former Speaker Prospero C. Nograles and wishes to express its deepest sympathies and condolences to his bereaved wife, Rhodora, and son, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, as well as his siblings and their families,” he said Saturday evening.
“Former Speaker Nograles was a pride of Mindanao. He was one of the leading lights of the political leaders in Mindanao. He made history when he became the first elected Mindanaoan who assumed the leadership of the House of Representatives,” he added.
“Former Speaker Nograles will certainly be missed by his loved ones, friends and constituents. May eternal rest grant unto him and perpetual light shine upon him,” he continued.
On Saturday afternoon, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles confirmed that his father passed away at the age 71. The older Nograles was with his family during his final moments.
“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,” the younger Nograles said.
“Papa passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. May we please ask for your continued prayers,” he added.
While not disclosing details as to the cause of his father’s death, Nograles said the wake will be held at Chapel 1 at Heritage Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Viewing starts Sunday, May 5 up to May 6, before they fly the former Speaker’s remains to Davao City on May 7.
According to the young Nograles, the late Speaker “was a driven public servant who loved his family and faithfully served his constituents.”
“His fifteen years in public service—punctuated by his election as the first House Speaker from Mindanao—was dedicated to uplifting the welfare of Dabawenyos and the people of Mindanao,” he said.
The late Nograles was a lawyer who graduated from the Ateneo School of Law and placed second in the 1971 Bar Examinations.
As a lawyer, he represented victims of human rights violations during the term of President Ferdinand Marcos, and later joined the campaign of the late President Corazon Aquino in the 1986 snap elections.
He served his first term as Representative of the First District of Davao City in 1989, a post he again won in 1995 and held for three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2010. He became House Speaker in 2008 during the administration of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The late Nograles was Duterte’s critics for decades before they officially patched things up during Karlo Nograle’s birthday celebration in Davao City in 2017.
“As for me, with God’s mercy, the rift between Boy and I are just talks. It’s politics… Boy’s wife and I are cousins, so we’ll never get to the point that we’d actually kill each other” President Duterte had said in Bisaya.
“Boy and I are the same. If you give us one truck full of money, he’ll turn his back on you. It’s true, literally,” he added.
During the said celebration, Nograles apologized to Duterte for their rift, to which the President said was not necessary. Prior to his apology, former House Speaker Nograles said that his family will support Duterte, being the first Mindanaoan president.
“We will defend (him) and go against all his enemies… You have my admiration and respect,” he said.