How Davao folk view Nograles’s rise as House speaker

Feb. 07, 2008

Early this week, the rise of Congressman Prospero Nograles as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, considered to be the fourth most powerful post in the land, drew mixed reaction from among the people of Davao city, where he has been perceived to be eyeing for mayor in 2010 when incumbent mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends and where he has been a consistent winner in the Congressional race in the city’s first district the district with the biggest voting population.

While some came up with a wish-list of what they expect him to do as the new Speaker of the House, others say, they’re not expecting anything at all, considering that he has been a staunch administration ally, and that, in the past, he hardly spoke on issues that could hurt the administration. So, how could they expect a sudden change of heart, now that he is in power?

In fact, some expect Nograles, (Nogie for most Davaoenos) to push for Charter Change, more strongly this time; and to kill impeachment moves against President Arroyo. Davao Today gathered some of these reactions.

“Personally, I am not a fan of Nogie but Davaoeos should be proud that the fourth highest official of the land comes from Davao. Now that he’s the Speaker, he can help Davao and Mindanao in terms of attention and funding but he should not have illusions (about) his new position.

We are still committed to backing Sarah Duterte (for mayor in 2010). He (Nograles) has earned no mileage in local politics.”
Peter Lavia, city councilor
Davao city first district

“As a Davaoeo, I am very proud of him. It’s the first time in history that a Davaoeo becomes a House Speaker.”
Edgar Ibuyan, city councilor
Davao city first district

“Congressman Nograles said it’s destiny that puts him in his position now. To him I say, good luck, Sir, follow your destiny.”
Paolo Duterte
President, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC)

“It means a great deal for the people of Davao and Mindanao to finally have a Speaker from the island. Now, Mindanaoans will have a stronger voice in the halls of Congress, to bring into the light the concerns and issues that affect Mindanao and consequently, the nation. This time, we have a real opportunity to realize the promise that our great island has to offer, to contribute to the welfare of our nation. With this new beginning, we hope that all our representatives in Congress, including those from Mindanao, can bring much-needed support and services to their constituents.”
Karlo Nograles, lawyer and son of the new Speaker

Nogie’s loyalty is not to the Davaoeos, not to the Mindanaoans, and not to the Filipino people. His loyalty is to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo alone. So, I don’t expect him to change anything. I never heard Nogie speaks in favor of people’s issues–such as genuine agrarian reform, review and repeal of the expanded value added tax and the 125-peso across-the-board wage increase.

People can’t expect anything from the House that remains pro-Arroyo. The House stays as Arroyo’s sanctuary for political survival. The people will be at the losing end as legislators will make another attempt at Charter change and come up with more anti-people legislations. However, this will create scenarios for GMAs ouster. The cracks in the administration will not benefit Arroyo.
Jeppie Ramada, secretary general
Bayan Southern Mindanao

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