BY ROGER M. BALANZA
There would be a second encounter between Mayor Sara Duterte and ex-Speaker Prospero Nograles in the coming May 2013 elections.
This time it would be in another political battlefield: the First District congressional race.
The First District is a known bailiwick of Nograles. His son, Karlo, is the incumbent congressman.
Reports say Karlo would be running for vice mayor, with the ex-Speaker to attempt to get back the congressional seat that he held for years before Karlo.
This much–that Mayor Duterte would be facing off with Nograles in the First District congress race— was hinted by the mayor’s father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, in the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa hosted by lawyer Geraldine Tiu on ABS/CBN on Sunday.
Mayor Duterte beat Nograles with a vote margin of 220,000 votes in the 2010 elections. It was Nograles’ third failed attempt to capture City Hall from the stranglehold of the Dutertes.
“I am more useful as mayor. I would prefer to be mayor because I am eyeball-to-eyeball with the problems of the people, Duterte said in the program.
The statement came over waning speculations he is retiring from politics, may be seeking reelection or may be running for another position other than the mayorship in 2013.
In the peogram, Duterte described work in Congress as “boring and lousy.” Duterte held the First District congressional seat from 1998 to 2001.
I am good at peace and order. There is no action in Congress, he said further butressing speculations he is gunning to get back the position he held for 18 years.
Duterte however refused to be categorical about his, and Mayor Duterte’s, final plan for 2013.
Asked about who would be running for Congress against Nograles, Duterte said; I’ll just whisper it to you, but don’t make a fuss. There seems to be a plan, but it’s not final yet. It’s not me, I don’t know who, he said.
But the body language bared all.
He siddled up to Tiu’s side, whispered something in her ear that made the lawyer let out a mischievous grin.
With Duterte running for mayor –Nograles and his Team Nograles are said to be positioning former Second District congressman Elias Ruy Lopez for the mayoral contest—and Mayor Duterte battling it out with the elder Nograles, congressman Karlo Nograles would be fighting off councilor Paolo Duterte, Mayor Duterte’s brother, in the vice mayoral contest, according to sources in the Duterte-led local political bloc Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.