Ex-Speaker Nograles laid to rest

FORMER Speaker Prospero “Boy Nogie” Nograles Jr. was laid to rest at Lake Forest Memorial Park Sunday afternoon where he was accorded full military honors with a 19-gun salute during the funeral rites.

Nograles, considered as one of Davao City’s most illustrious sons and the first Speaker from Mindanao, died last May 4 from serious respiratory illness.  He was 71.

He is survived by his wife Rhodora Bendigo Nograles and children Dr. Kristine Elizabeth Nograles-Hugo, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles, and recent bar passer Margarita Ignacia Nograles.

Nograles, an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University, placed second in the 1971 bar examination with an average grade of 90.95%.

Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President Martin Romualdez, a congressional candidate in Leyte’s First District who visited the wake of Nograles twice at the Heritage Park in Taguig City and at the Cosmopolitan Memorial Chapels in Davao City, said the country lost another brilliant lawyer-politician with the passing of Nograles.

Tingog first nominee and Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, wife of Romualdez and the chairperson of the House committee on accounts, said Nograles was among the well-respected Congress leaders

Former House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II, a very close Aquila Legis fraternity brother of Nograles, remembered him during last Tuesday’s necrological service at the House of Representatives as a great joker and the life of the party who dressed like the legendary secret agent James Bond 007.

Quezon City Rep. Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr., a former Speaker, said Nograles lived an honorable life.

Former House Secretary General Atty. Marilyn Barua-Yap credited “Speaker Nograles [for transforming] the House into a House of the People.”

Former Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, ex-senator, said Nograles is “a natural mentor to many” and “a reformist” and productive Speaker where the latter even called his Senate counterparts to ensure the passage of the priority measures.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recalled that Nograles was very helpful to her when she was still the undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the late 80’s about Congress’ relations. Nograles was then a first-termer Davao City congressman.

Nograles was elected Speaker of the House on February 5, 2008 in the 14th Congress.

He was then serving his fifth term as House Member, representing the First District of Davao City. Prior to his speakership, he was the House Majority Floor Leader during the 13th Congress.

Born on October 30, 1947 in Davao City, he finished his primary and secondary education at the Ateneo de Davao.

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Nograles was elected to five terms as Member of the House of Representatives, which spanned a total of 15 years.