PULONG VS. JERICHO LOOMS
SAP BONG GO: Paolo very much qualified for Congress
By ROGER M. BALANZA
Resigned Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte is very much qualified to run for a congressional seat in case he decides to try politics again next year.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go said this when asked of the possibility of the young Duterte seeking the 1st congressional seat in the 2019 midterm elections.
Go said Pulong is very much qualified to run for Congress considering his background as vice mayor. Go, however, did not say if the son of President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to run for Congress.
Dabawenyos want Pulong to run for mayor in the 2019 mid-term elections, if sister Mayor Inday Sara Duterte takes a crack at a Senate seat, according to results of a survey by the University of Mindanao-Institute of Popular Opinion (UM-IPO).
Inday Sara, in the winning circle in surveys for potential Senate bets, has yet to decide which post she would run for. But she said earlier she would rather remain as city mayor and is not seeking a Senate seat.
Pulong has announced he would return to politics if the Dabawenyos still need his services. Last year, Pulong resigned as vice mayor after his name was dragged in a Senate probe on shabu smuggling at the Manila ports. The Senate has cleared the presidential son of the charge.
Last week, he joined along with brother Sebastian, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNB), a regional party formed by Inday Sara raising speculations that he is on a comeback trail.
A Duterte vs. Nograles face-off in the First District was expected to revive the old political wounds between the families of President Duterte and former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
The Duterte and Nograles families were rivals in local politics starting from the late 80s. The battle over control of local politics, however, ended when the Nograleses supported then Mayor Duterte’s presidential run in 2016. Before this, Nograles failed in three attempts to capture City Hall in as many elections.
Duterte beat Nograles in the mayoral race in 1992 to net his first reelection after winning over the late Post-EDSA interim mayor Zafiro Respicio in the 1988 race. Nograles would suffer his second attempt to capture City Hall with a loss to Duterte protege Benjamin de Guzman in the 1998 contest. Sitting as House Speaker, Nograles was beaten for the third time in the mayoral race by Inday Sara in the 2013 elections. The debacle sent Nograles to political retirement.
A Duterte running for Congress in the First District, a known Nograles bailiwick, has been in the thick of speculations with Nograles son, Rep. Karlo Nograles winding up his third and final term in 2019.
Unconfirmed reports said, Karlo’s younger brother, Rep. Jericho Nograles of the PBA partylist group may fill in the shoes of Karlo, who is reported to be eyeing a Senate run in 2019.