Former House Speaker Prospero Nograles dies at 71

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Former House Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr died on Saturday, May 4. He was 71.

His son, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said in a statement on Saturday: "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."

"Papa passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. May we please ask for your continued prayers. He is finally at peace," the Cabinet official added.

The wake for Nograles will be in Chapel 1 at Heritage Park, Taguig City from May 5 to 6, Sunday to Monday. His remains will be flown to Davao City on May 7.

Nograles had a lingering illness and had been mostly out of the public eye. In 2017, he was in the news after he apologized to his enemy for decades, President Rodrigo Duterte, for their past "heartaches." This happened during the birthday celebration of his son, Karlo, who was still a Davao congressman then. (READ: Duterte's long-time critic, Prospero Nograles, says sorry)

Nograles, known to friends as "Boy" or "Nogie," was born on October 30, 1947.

He attended elementary and high school at Ateneo de Davao, and finished his bachelor's degree in Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1967. He graduated from the Ateneo Law School in 1971 and placed second in the 1971 Bar examinations.

Nograles handled cases of victims of military abuse during Martial Law under the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. In 1985, he received The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Law and Human Rights. In 1986, he joined the late President Corazon Aquino's campaign in the snap elections.

Before he entered politics in 1989, Nograles was the executive assistant to the president and Deputy General Counsel at the University of the Philippines. He was also the Chief General Counsel of the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Nograles served his first term as Representative of Davao City's lone congressional district in 1989. He again won the seat in 1995, 2001, 2004, and 2007.

Before becoming Speaker, he was vice chairman of the House contingent in the Commission on Appointments, House Majority Leader, and Chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development (CHUD).

Nograles was elected House Speaker in 2008, during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, making him the first from Mindanao to serve the post. 

Condolences

Malacañang expressed sadness over the death of Nograles, whom they called a "pride of Mindanao" and "one of the leading lights of the political leaders in Mindanao."

In a statement on Saturday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, the Palace "... 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 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."

Paolo Duterte was the first member of the President’s family to extend his condolences to the Nograles family.

“My condolences to the family of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, the first Mindanaoan Speaker. 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. Rest in peace Manong Boy," Paolo wrote on Facebook.

Arroyo, who is now House speaker, mourned the death of Nograles, as she sent her condolences to Nograles' loved ones and constituents.

"It was my honor that he was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010  during my Presidency," Arroyo said on Sunday, May 5.

"I recall how much he was loved, not only by his fellow Congressmen but, just as important, by the staff of the House whose welfare he cared so much about. We will miss him," Arroyo said. – Rappler.com