Thursday, February 07, 2008
Close Encounters with Prospero Nograles
First, should I call him Nogi Boy or Boy Nogi? I heard some radio commentators call the newly-installed House Speaker as Nogi. Sounds like a gap-toothed anime character. Then I thought of calling him as Boy Nogi. It's slicker and smoother but at the same time has a small-time gangster appeal. However, it sounds so much like Philip Salvador's character in his first-rate cop thriller of the same title. That's when I decided that I should stick with Nogi Boy. We should not besmirch the memories of great Filipino movies.
Now, let's get right on with our main discussion - my close encounters with Prospero Nograles. I'd be a lot happier discussing my encounters with Senator Francis Escudero but then I feel that it's my duty to share these stories. I'm just being noble. Oh. I also hope Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gets to read this entry.
Place: Ateneo Law School
Event: Debate on PGMA Impeachment between Adprospero nograles, ministration and Opposition Lawmakers
Honestly, I did not know that I was seated besides Nograles' son. The son was quite memorable in the worst possible way. I'd bet that if you check out the work MAYABANG in a Filipino dictionary, you'll see his picture. Why? Let me enumerate the ways:
1. He said that he told his father to finish the debate early so that they could
have quality time over dinner.
2. One of his friend saw a lady wearing a set of cool sunglasses. She happens to
be Nogi's son's ex-girlfriend. Did you know that Nogi's son boasted (enough
for everyone to hear)the exorbitant price of the pretty eyewear? Major turn-
At the end of the debate, the administration lawmakers suffered stinging retorts from the combined forces of Francis Escudero and Roilo Golez. Prospero Nograles - an Atenean - was overheard saying in jest, "Ayoko na. Lagi na lang Chiz. Puro na lang Chiz ang mga kabataan."
That was my first encounter with Prospero Nograles. He was quite arrogant all throughout the debate. He even remarked one classic trapo statement, "Impeachment is a numbers game. We have more numbers. Naturally, we will win."
Place: Batasang Pambansa
Event: Social Work Field Work
My field work entails that I work for a non-government organization. I was assigned to an NGO serving Filipina overseas workers. One of the cases I handled, involved a group of predominantly Visayan and Mindanaon women who were illegally recruited. To cut the long story, after the resolution of their case - they decided to return to their respective provinces. The problem is money. They don't have enough and the NGO has very little to provide.
The NGO requested assistance from certain government agencies but still wasn't enough. Finally, someone suggested that we seek help from the client's respective congressmen. It was my responsibility to accompany and represent the clients. Caveat: I first thought of avoiding naming names - but what the heck.
Our youngest client is from Davao. I forgot the name of her congressman but he was not available at that time. Our other client hails from General Santos, thus her congressman is Manny Pacquiao killer Darlene Custodio. I was able to talk to one of her staff beforehand. She told me that they cannot promise to give the full amount because pork barrel is not provided for oppositionists. I said no problem. We'll accept whatever amount. Custodio's staff was very accommodating and efficient. We easily receive the financial assistance. They also suggested that we contact the Nograles' office for our Davaoena client. We followed their advice and off we went to the enormous office of the Majority Leader.
Wow. It was like a cathedral. Our client was very hopeful that she'll get sufficient assistance for her fare. After several minutes of paperwork, one of Nograles' staff talked to us and assured that DSWD will provide discount for her provincial fare. Through Nograles' help our client will be given an amazing... 23.5% discount.
Iggy Arroyo's office was way better than Nograles. Even if I hate Iggy, I can proudly say that his staff was most helpful for providing full financial assistance for their needy constituent.
I still get shock whenever I remember that incident. 23.5% discount. Wow. I get better discounts from my favorite pirated DVD vendors. The big question is...BAKIT MAY BUTAL PANG .5%? I don't know.
Of course, I should be thankful for the financial assistance...but...come on. He's an administration stalwart and the House Majority Leader. His son publicly boasts of purchasing sunglasses of exorbitant prices. And all you can give your constituent is 23.5% off ticket fare?
I saw our client's obvious disappointment.
I felt insulted.
That was my last encounter with Prospero Nograles. I hope that it would also be my last, because if I see him again - I'll gladly returned his 23.5% discount.