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Courage to Change

Mayor Aleli-3

Second District of Rizal Representative Juan Fidel Nograles
believes it is time for the youth to take over and challenge
the status quo.

Mayor Aleli-1



Go big or go home. This best describes Congressman Juan Fidel Nograles’ campaign in the 2019
midterm elections.

In his first foray into politics, the 32-year-old fearlessly challenged the Rodriguezes, a clan that had been in power in Rizal for two decades. His was a resounding victory: with a 70,000-vote winning margin,
Nograles ushered in a new era in the history of his district. This is how the young politician wants to be remembered by his constituents.

“I want to be remembered as someone who defeated a dynasty because of the people’s desire for change. They need someone to represent them in Congress, someone who can champion the rights of the marginalized, the poor, and the impoverished,” says Nograles.

Fortunately, Nograles has the next three years—a total of nine years, if he will be given the chance—to prove himself as the champion the people of Rizal need.

As a lawyer providing pro bono legal services to the marginalized citizens of Rodriguez, Nograles has made his way into the hearts of many. With the help of his law students and fellow lawyers, he took on various cases, but paid special attention to those involving land grabbing, family disputes, and domestic

“My advocacy is legal aid. As a lawyer,
it is one of our responsibilities to aid the
marginalized, the impoverished. [We have] to
assist them in legal proceedings because social
justice dictates [that] those who have less in life
should have more in law,” says the Harvard law

After earning a Juris Doctor degree at the
Ateneo de Manila University, Nograles went to Cambridge, Massachusetts to study in one of
the most prestigious schools in the world—
Harvard Law School.

Nograles admits that his time in the Ivy League school was no walk in the park. For starters, aside from having to compete with other brilliant minds, he also had to pay a particularly hefty tuition fee. All seriousnes aside, Nograles joked that one also has to be “handsome” in order to get in.

While it was difficult to get into the school, it was his time inside that made him realize that he wanted to enter politics. Instead of going back to being a full-time lawyer, Nograles decided that he wanted
to use what he learned to ensure “good governance, anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability” in the local government of Rizal.

When he returned to the Philippines after graduating in 2016, he started to serve the Province of Rizal as the assistant provincial administrator, a position he held until he filed his certificate of candidacy for this year’s elections.

Prior to Harvard, Nograles worked in the Office of the President of the Philippines as an assistant secretary and was also a court attorney in the Supreme Court, under then Supreme Court Justice Martin Villarama Jr. His first-hand experience at the highest court of the land only deepened his trust in the Philippine legal system. “As a former Supreme Court lawyer, I have faith in the rule of law. Because I believe that no one should be above the law,” he quips.

The law has a very particular place in the hearts of the Nograles family. Both of Fidel’s parents, George and Sol, are lawyers. Their namesake law firm, Nograles Law Firm, mostly focuses on labor law and litigation.

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