Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles joins PDP-Laban

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 2) — A Davao congressman and son of a former House Speaker got his birthday wish on Saturday night: membership to President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party.

Duterte, who spoke at Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles’ 41st birthday celebration in Davao City, personally swore Nograles in as a member of the PDP-Laban.

"Karlo is accepted into the folds of the PDP and we are proud that one of the most powerful congressmen would be a member of this party," the President said. "I hope mapakinabangan mo [that you will benefit]."

Nograles — who chairs the powerful House appropriations committee — used to be the President of the National Unity Party, a breakaway group of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The former President maintains friendly ties with Duterte.

Related: Duterte: Pampanga's poultry products safe to eat

Rep. Nograles is the son of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, the Duterte family’s long-time rival in local politics.

The elder Nograles lost to a Duterte in his three bids for Davao City mayor.

In addition, Rep. Nograles’ mother is the President’s second cousin.

“I wish my nephew a happy birthday,” Duterte said in a speech at the party. “I am grateful to you for inviting me here today. It gladdens my heart to know that you consider me an important part of your personal and political life.”

The two families set aside their rivalry when the Nograleses supported Duterte for the presidency.