“I am politically dead”
“I am politically dead”
By ROGER M. BALANZA
After being beaten to a pulp in three mayoral elections,
former congressman and House Speaker Prospero Nograles is writing finis to his ambition to become mayor of Davao City. He has reached his breaking point. He told us to forget about planning another crack at the mayorship, said a close political ally of Nograles, whose third debacle was delivered by Mayor Sara Duterte in the May elections last year. The political ally who worked deep in the political and media bench last year of Team Nograles, asked that he not be identified.
No more mayoral run
He said the ex-Speaker intimidated to close friends and political allies that he is giving up his quest to become mayor during an informal gathering recently.
It’s like he was saying he is dead—-politically—if it means taking another crack at the mayoral post, said the Nograles ally, who adds many others heard Nograles say he was giving up his hope of becoming mayor.
He also refused to name those in the gathering, but said they were mostly political leaders and key men behind Team Nograles, the political machinery that run the ex-Speaker’s losing mayoral bid last year.
The ex-Speaker’s ally said Nograles admitted his waning political stock and the fact that the mayorship has become a fading star for him, days ahead of Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge for Nograles to face him in another election.
We do a return bout and see who is the best, said Duterte at the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN two Sundays ago.
Duterte made the challenge as he blamed Nograles for the graft case filed with the Ombudsman over his handling of more than P11 million of the Special Education Fund (SEF) in 2006. The Ombudsman last week recommended that graft charges be filed against Duterte and eleven other City Hall officials and members of the Local School Board.
In the television program, Duterte said he would beat Nograles hands down in another election, even if he takes a vacation during the campaign period.
Nograles took his first beating in the mayoral race from Duterte in 1992, losing by about 170,000 votes. The second debacle came in the 1998 elections against former city administrator and vice mayor Benjamin de Guzman, then a political ally of Duterte. The third setback was dealt by Mayor Sara Duterte last year, losing by more than 220,000 votes.
Rody vs. Karlo?
The Nograles ally said the former congressman may entirely bid goodbye to politics to concentrate on his son, Congressman Karlo Nograles, to sustain political control of the First District, which has for years been a Nograles stronghold.
The younger Karlo, however, bagged an unconvincingly win in the congressional race last year, winning only by about 8,000 votes against challenger councilor Mabel Acosta of Duterte’s Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.
Hugpong insiders said the older Duterte—conceded by political observers here as the only one who can beat a Nograles in the First District congressional race—may run against Congressman Karlo Nograles in the next election to complete the Dutertes’ dominance of the local political landscape.