By Mario Casayuran
Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile mourned the passing of former Speaker Prospero Nograles, praising him for his leadership of the House of Representatives while he served as Senate President from 2008 to 2010.
“I was very sad when I heard yesterday about the death of former Speaker Prospero ‘Boy’ Nograles. I knew him very well as a professional. He was quite good as a lawyer,” Enrile said in a statement.
“When I was Senate President, he was Speaker of the House. One of the very delicate matters that we handled together was the declaration of martial law by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Maguindanao when there was a massacre there involving a very well-known and powerful family,” Enrile shared, referring to the bloody Maguindanao massacre which claimed the lives of 58 victims.
“Without many problems, we went through that episode in our history quite well,” Enrile recalled.
“Speaker Nograles and I, when we both led the two chambers of Congress, cooperated in many ways in order to make the work of legislation in the country quite smooth and without any rancor,” Enrile, who is seeking a fifth term in the 24-member Senate, said.
Both Nograles and Enrile were instrumental in passing landmark laws such as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and the Philippine Competition Act aimed at promoting a competitive market.
When the former Senate President criticized members of the Senate minority in 2010 for an alleged ouster plot to replace him as Senate President, Nograles sided with Enrile, saying that there was no need to replace him as the 2010 polls were already nearing.
In his statement on Nograles’ passing, Enrile said, “I am going to pray for him and I wish that he will find repose in the life where he will be hereafter forever. Goodbye, my dear friend.”