Patriot, statesman, pillar of democracy: Tributes pour in for Nene Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines – The country mourned the death of former Senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr on Sunday, October 20.
Current government leaders, former colleagues, and various groups paid tribute to Pimentel, calling him a patriot, a statesman, and a pillar of democracy. (READ: Nene Pimentel: Courageous stalwart of democracy)
Read their full statements below.
Malacañang, through Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo
Today is a sad day for the nation. The Palace joins the Filipino people in mourning the demise of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and expressing condolences to his family, loved ones, colleagues and friends.
Our people thank former Senator Pimentel for his long, fearless and principled track record of public service. He would forever be etched in our history as a giant among his peers who championed democracy and electoral reform and a visionary who espoused devolution of powers and strong local governance.
As the acknowledged Father of the Local Government Code, former Senator Pimentel gave his wisdom and lent his voice to the need to empower local governments. The Duterte Administration is grateful for the elder Pimentel for joining the current government in his capacity as one of the members of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution and draft a new charter that would pave the way for a federal form of government.
As we pay tribute and honor to this respected and courageous statesman, we fervently pray for the Almighty to grant Senator Nene eternal repose. May the perpetual light shine upon him.
Vice President Leni Robredo
The Filipino nation is diminished today with the passing of Senator Nene Pimentel, our leading advocate for local governance, a tireless champion of human rights, and a true patriot.
His long and storied career as a statesman is replete with moments of moral courage as he stood firm against the oftentimes cruel realities of politics and history.
Standing up to the dictator Marcos during Martial Law, asserting Philippine sovereignty during the debates for the renewal of the US bases treaty, running as VP to an eminently qualified but underfunded Jovito Salonga in 1992, taking the principled position as Senate President during the Estrada impeachment trial – these are the moments that will forever define his place in our people’s history. May we all draw inspiration from his example to show the same courage and principle during these challenging times.
With the rest of a grateful Filipino nation, I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III
My family and I bereave this very sad news. I feel like I lost a close relative and not just a friend. I was his majority leader when he was Senate President and we were very close. He was my idol!
My 6 years with him from 1998 to 2004 were very educational for me not only in politics but also in family matters. My family and I loved him!
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto
While others sought comfort in numbers, Nene drew strength from his convictions.
He was a maverick who could not resist a good fight, many of which by his lonesome, for he believed that one man with courage was enough to make a majority.
And he paid dearly for being true to his principles and to his people.
He spent years in prison for fighting for the freedoms which were taken from the people he loved.
And later in his checkered career, his incurable independent streak lost him the chance to acquire greater power, for he refused to compromise the values he never sold.
But it is wrong to paint the man solely as a great dissenter.
He was also a great builder – of local autonomy, of just peace among a people fatigued of war, of grassroots democracy, of Mindanao development, of ethics in public service.
Many laws of the land have been enriched by the wisdom he selflessly shared. He acted as the people’s watchman in the Senate who guarded their interests, often as a one-man checkpoint who shone a lantern on the bills before they were passed.
He was able to notch an impressive scorecard of laws because he had the courage to speak and the wisdom to listen. Nene was a sensei to many legislators in that bygone era when true grit was measured by hard work and not by likes, shares, and followers.
The republic is diminished by the death of this great patriot.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
I am very sad for the loss of a great Filipino statesman who fought and risked his life for the many advocacies that he believed in. The death of our former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr is a great loss for Mindanao and the nation as he is one of those I consider as one of the great pillars of our country's democracy in the last 50 years.
I'm honored to have had the opportunity to work with him in the 14th Congress and even if we had some differences then, he still treated me professionally and mentored me on the issues of human rights and above all the rule of law. As a Mindanaoan, I am truly saddened with this development. May God bless his soul.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
Today, our country has lost a true patriot, a freedom fighter, and a champion of democracy, human rights and local governance.
I lost not just a colleague whom I shared nine colorful years in the Senate, but a true friend who I respect and admire for his service to the nation and our countrymen. I consider it an honor and a distinct privilege to have been succeeded by Ka Nene as Senate President in 2000.
Ka Nene fought for our country with honor and pride. His name will forever be remembered in the halls of Congress and by our grateful nation.
I offer my profound sympathy and condolences to the Pimentel family. Ka Nene is indeed a great loss to our nation. Rest now, Ka Nene.
House Speaker and Taguig City-Pateros 1st District Representative Alan Peter Cayetano
We, Members of the 18th Congress are deeply saddened by the demise of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr.
He was a Filipino statesman popularly known as "Father of the Local Government Code” and stalwart advocate for Federalism.
Filipinos here and around the world enjoin us in thanking the outstanding Senator in his long-standing service to the country guided by his steadfast integrity and nationalism. His contribution through empowering the local governments to initiate development and bring basic services to the people, is invaluable and will be forever remembered.
On a personal note, having personally worked with him in the Senate, I am witness to his professionalism and his commitment to duties. He is one of the inspiring examples to me and all our public servants. It was truly a pleasure and honor to work with you.
The 18th Congress pays tribute to former Senate President Pimentel. Thank you for service to the Nation.
Former vice president Jejomar Binay
I join the nation in grief as we mourn the passing of former Senate President Nene Pimentel. Nene was an exemplary public servant who championed the empowerment and development of local government units. He authored the Local Government Code, which, to this day, continues to be the the fundamental law governing LGUs. More than a senator, Nene was a friend. We started PDP-Laban together, and have fought alongside each other on issues that will protect our people and promote progress.
Nene is a true patriot, whose years of service to the nation tells of profound love for Filipinos and a deep dedication to ensuring the growth and strengthening of our institutions towards a stronger democracy. Salamat, Nene sa ilang dekada ng paninilbihan sa sambayanang Pilipino.
Salamat, Nene sa ilang taon ng pagkakaibigan.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles
Today, we join the nation in grief and offer our deep condolences to the Pimentel family for the loss of a great leader and a pillar of our democracy. Former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. was a true patriot. He fought and sacrificed to win the freedoms Filipinos now enjoy. As author of the Local Government Code, he laid down the high standards of good and honest governance in all levels of our bureaucracy. He is a true Mindanaoan and a close friend of the family. Manong Nene was an inspiration when I ventured into politics.
We mourn the passing of a champion of democracy and human rights, but we should all be comforted with the thought that Manong Nene's accomplishments as public servant will continue to guide and inspire us and the many generations to come.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año
The entire Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) family mourn the passing of former Senate President Nene Pimentel, one of the country’s greatest political figures, who was also former Minister/Secretary of Local Government under the Cory Aquino administration.
An esteemed statesperson, he was the principal author of the landmark Republic Act 7160 (The Local Government Code of 1991), which gave LGUs the power and capability to provide for the basic needs of the people within their provinces, cities, municipalities, even up to the barangays. As former Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, he understood the cause of decentralization and local empowerment.
He was, together with the President, the country’s foremost advocate of a Federal system of government. Even if he is no longer with us, this Department will continue his advocacy for change and political reform through our program for constitutional reform (CORE).
In this trying time, we ask the Filipino people to offer prayers for the soul of former Senator Nene Pimentel. We also ask all Local Government Units nationwide to remember him in your activities as we commemorate Local Government month and urge them to place your flags at half-mast as a sign of respect to this great advocate of local autonomy and empowerment.
May perpetual light shine upon him, and the Lord grant him eternal rest. Amen.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr (via Twitter)
I didn't hold your hand and say goodbye, old friend – the bravest, unfailingly honest public servant I know; no bluff, just balls; principled to a fault; strict, but I couldn't take offense: "Teddy Boy, are you nuts? You can't postpone elections for the third time in a row!!!" Ok, Ok.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara
Senator Nene was a Filipino who did not go gently into the night – whether it was during Martial Law or after he retired from the Senate.
Whether it was a cry for freedom or a call for brave new laws, his was an influential voice in the public space which contributed immensely in making our country better.
Never the bullhorn of the powerful, he instead lent his big voice to the small people. That has been the story of his life – an advocate for the down and out, a champion of the powerless and the persecuted.
But he was as good in opposing abuses as he was in proposing solutions to the problems of the state.
He authored many laws which became disruptors for the greater good, like giving powers to the local government, land to the tiller, and military bases to their rightful owner.
Senator Nene was the lawmaker’s lawmaker, both in intelligence to craft or critique laws and the discipline to consistently do it.
He was also a gentleman of the old school, where political differences are not allowed get in the way of real friendship."
Senator Nancy Binay
Aming taos-pusong pakikiramay sa pamilya at mahal sa buhay ni Tatay Nene Pimentel.
Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. was a mentor and a dear friend to our family.
Magkasama rin sina Tatay Nene at aking ama sa loob ng ilang dekada sa panahon ng Martial Law laban sa diktadura, at sa PDP-Laban mula pa noong "volkswagen party" ito hanggang sa lumaki ang partido.
Tatay Nene ang unang nagbigay ng pagkakataon at tiwala sa aking ama na naging dahilan ng kanyang pagkaka-appoint bilang unang mayor during Pres. Cory's term. Tatay was the first to recognize my Dad's heart in public service.
Our family shares the same emptiness left by someone everyone loves.
The nation lost a great man and a respected statesman. We are eternally grateful for Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr's service to the Filipino people.
Senator Leila de Lima
To Senator Koko, Commissioner Gwen and the Pimentel Family, ang aking taus pusong pakikiramay sa inyo.
Senator Nene is one of the most respected statesmen this country has ever been blessed with. A defender of democracy, he will be remembered for how he fought the Martial Law dictatorship, at the expense of his own freedom. Even after the People Power Revolution, Sen. Nene remained a fighter for good governance, letting go of the Senate Presidency when the Senate refused to examine evidence in the impeachment of President Estrada.
As the country got back on its feet after the second People Power, Senator Nene wasted no time in crafting meaningful legislation and led the minority as a constructive force that provided the checks and balances to the Arroyo Administration.
He may be gone, but his legacy of wisdom in defending democracy will live forever in the hearts of the people.
May the Pimentel family find comfort in the love and appreciation of the people for Sen. Nene.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Today, the country mourns the death of former Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., whose intellect, integrity, and commitment to public service have helped shape our country. Perhaps, some may know him as a staunch advocate of changing the constitution while others know him as one of those who opposed the dictatorial regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Personally, I will remember him as the champion of local government units (LGUs). Because of his landmark measure, The Local Government Code of 1991, Pimentel has empowered LGUs across the country by allowing them to create their own source of revenue and enable them to levy taxes and fees, among others.
Tatay Nene Pimentel lived a passionate and fruitful life. He may have left us, but his legacy will always remain and be remembered.
Senator Richard Gordon
We condole with the family of Senator Nene Pimentel on his passing and join the many who pray for the eternal repose of his soul. Senator Pimentel was an elder statesman with a wide breadth of experience in the executive and legislative branches of government. He was committed to whatever causes he chose to advocate in his lifetime and persevered in pursuing them.
Through his years as delegate of the Constitutional Convention, mayor, assemblyman, senator, and Senate President, he was a dedicated public servant, and even in retirement, continued to express his views on issues that mattered to him and that he believed were in the public interest. Rest in peace, Senator Nene Pimentel.
Senator Risa Hontiveros
Today, our country lost a truly great man.
Ka Nene Pimentel is not only one of our most experienced and accomplished civil servants, he is also one of the greatest defenders of freedom and democracy in the history of our country. And his greatness was only eclipsed by his love for this nation and its people.
My sincerest condolences go out to the Pimentel family and to my college mate and colleague, Senator Koko Pimentel.
This is a void that will probably never be filled. But I know he would want us to continue the struggle for freedom, democracy, the defense of human rights and the rule of law, and so we shall.
Rest in Peace, Ka Nene. Maraming, maraming salamat sa lahat.
Senator Panfilo Lacson
I will always remember Sen Nene as my first Senate minority leader who called my attention to respond to the massive vitriolic attacks on my honor and dignity as a newly elected senator in 2001. That was my first baptism of dirty politics as the newly installed administration under PGMA unleashed Angelo "Ador" Mawanay and several other peddlers of lies and black propaganda to portray me as the biggest narco-politician, money launderer and criminal offender that ever set his foot in the halls of Congress. Failing to understand the dirty play of politics, I can still vividly remember Sen Nene's advice: "Ping, sagutin mo yung mga akusasyon ng administration. Marami nang naniniwala."
I did follow his advice by delivering my first privilege speech entitled "In defense of my honor and dignity" on August 7, 2001, or barely 14 days after Congress started its 12th regular session in July 23 of that same year. It might be a bit late though as I found out later that from a high 73% trust and approval ratings as CPNP in December 2000, it plunged to -13% in Aug 2001, a mere 8 months of sustained media attacks, using massive government resources at the administration's disposal.
If I may add – of course while it took a long time for the truth to finally come out, truth nevertheless triumphed over the evil of lies and deception.
Senator Francis Pangilinan
Nakikiramay ako sa pamilya ni Sen. Nene Pimentel sa kanyang pagyao. Sa ngalan ng aking pamilya sa pakikibaka, nagpapasalamat ako sa ibinahagi niyang buhay para sa karapatang pantao, kalayaan, at demokrasya noong panahon ng diktadura. Salamat!
Senator Grace Poe
A principled leader, patriot, statesman.
Senator Nene always kept watch and put himself on the line for the sake of the Filipino people.
Our heartfelt prayers are with his family.
Senator Joel Villanueva
We celebrate the life of Tatay Nene Pimentel, whose public service knew no bounds. His commitment to uphold public interest is an example that civil servants must strive to emulate in their duties and functions.
Patunay ang buhay ng Tatay Nene na wala nang mas hihigit sa karangalang maglingkod sa bayan. Inspirasyon siya sa aming mambabatas at magiging gabay ang kanyang mga aral sa aming mga gawain sa Senado.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tita Bing, Sen Koko and Comm Gwen, and their families who are grieving the loss of this great statesman. We pray that the good Lord comfort the family he left behind.
Senator Imee Marcos
My prayers and condolences, Koko; to you, Manang Bing and the rest of the family. My father's loyal opposition, Apo Nene was a great Filipino far beyond politics, dissent, even arrest. He was unfailingly kind and generous to me – thank you Apo Nene! You will be missed in the Senate, CDO and Batac.
Former senator Heherson Alvarez
Nene Pimentel is a happy warrior. He lived long enough to nurture our civil liberties that he fought for, and been jailed. He witnessed a new generation arising on the wings of a struggle inspired by his own dream and sacrifices.
Mayor and Senate President Nene Pimentel will remain in our history as an indomitable comrade in the struggle against the dictatorship and a champion of good local governance.
While his family and our nation grieve his passing, let us celebrate Nene’s death – a Filipino Phoenix arisen from his grave.
House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez
The country lost another intellectual giant with the passing of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr.
Senate President Pimentel is a good man and a great leader. His dedicated public service and brilliant leadership are beyond question. He will be remembered for leading an honorable life.
Senate President Pimentel was a powerful force in reforming the local government being the Father of the Local Government Code. He made an impact to the lives of many Filipinos and definitely his hard work will continue to inspire many generations.
I join our friends with thoughts of comfort in extending our sincere sympathies to the Pimentel family during this very painful time. He will be included in our prayers.
House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda
I am deeply saddened to learn about the demise of our dear former colleague, former Senate President, Nene Pimentel.
When I first became a Senator in 1998, he had been most welcoming and never hesitated to give advice about the nuances of the legislative process. He treated us neophytes as his equal.
We worked side by side in the 12th Congress, with him as Minority Leader and I as Majority Leader, and we were able to accomplish much and passed vital pieces of legislation. He had always been resolute in his role as fiscalizer and brilliantly scrutinized every piece of legislation we took up to make sure that the quality of the laws passed and debates held would be worthy of the mandate given to us by the people.
His sense of accountability to the public was unparalleled. He wrote his own speeches and reports, endured lengthy debates despite physical difficulties, and always made himself available for interviews by the media or for queries even by his own colleagues. He and I shared similar advocacies, including climate change, environment protection. He was my co-champion. When no one seemed to support me in my climate journey, Nene would be there, early on. He understood. He cared.
Inasmuch as his fearless leadership, integrity and unblemished record as public official will be a great loss for the country and for our people, I have no doubt that he has left a lasting legacy through the brand of public service that Nene had been known for. He will surely be missed.
House Deputy Speaker and Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman
Ikinalulungkot ko ang pagpanaw ng isang magaling na mambabatas at hinahangaang stateman ng ating bansa, si former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel [Jr.]
Ako at ang aking buong pamilya ay lubos na nakikiramay sa mga naiwan ng ating butihing Senador Nene, lalo na sa kanyang mga mahal sa buhay, kaibigan at nakasama sa trabaho.
He is truly a great Mindanaoan and a good mentor to us all. He is known as the Father of the Local Government, though he did far more than that for our country. He is a passionate believer in the Philippines and its people, and he gave so much for us and our welfare. Sen. Nene, with all the legacy he leaves behind, belongs up there in the rolls of this country's heroes.
You will be sorely missed, Sen. Nene. May your light shine brightly and guide a country mourning the loss of a great leader!
House Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman Representative Mikee Romero
A perfectionist for freedom and democracy. That is why in his lifetime, the late former Senate President and PDP-Laban founder Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. always stood in the forefront of the battlelines for Filipinos whenever civil liberties, equality and justice are denied or threatened.
Senator Nene was among the Filipino leaders who inspired the youth in the late 60’s and down to these very days . I am among those who were awed in the way he interspersed nationalism with outstanding intellect and high sence of fairness and justice in order to let us savor freedom and democracy. Together with the 1PACMAN Partylist, I join the millions of our people in thanking him for his significant contributions for a better Philippines.
We salute Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. as a true Filipino hero.
House Deputy Speaker and CIBAC Representative Eddie Villanueva
More than the Father of Local Government Code of 1991, he is a good friend. Patriotic and brilliant, Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, Jr. was among the few inspirations that a genuine statesman can have. Who can ever forget? He was imprisoned four times and was offered to be released if he will give up what he is fighting for. But he stood his ground and maintained his integrity. He continued fighting for freedom in our country even on the streets.
He has fought the battle and finished the race. May his contribution to our democracy be put not into waste but instead, will continue to be a seed of hope and encouragement for the next generations to come. Thank you for a well-lived life and a principled existence.
Our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones.
House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr
I join the nation in mourning the passing of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., a leader I am proud to have called my friend, a lawmaker who towered over his peers and whose contributions to Philippine legislation helped rebuild our democracy following the Edsa Revolution.
Senator Nene was the man behind the Local Government Code, the recognized Father of Local Autonomy, and, to his last days, an outspoken advocate for federalism. He was one of the few truly outstanding Mindanao-born leaders on the national stage, a public servant who stood by his principles regardless of whether he was in the Majority or the Minority––a statesman whose actions always reflected patriotism, not partisanship.
Our thoughts and prayers go to Senator Nene’s family; may they find comfort in the Lord, who in Isaiah 57:1-2 says:
The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas
We owe Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel Jr., Founding Father of PDP-Laban, an immense debt of gratitude. The a young public servant like myself can ever repay that debt is to pay it forward to the current and future generations of Filipinos using the standard of faithful public service Nene Pimentel has set.
If we can achieve even just a fraction of what he has accomplished in his lifetime, our service would be tribute to his legacy. His name will forever be remembered in Philippine public service history.
BH Representative Bernadette Herrera Dy
We, in the Party-list System, owe our existence in the political arena to Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel. Some of the origins of the party-list system go back to earlier than the work of the Constitutional Commission. Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr.
In 1980, Pimentel ran for mayor of Cagayan de Oro City under the Mindanao Alliance banner. Back then, he realized the need and role of new kinds of political parties rising from the grassroots and communities – closer to the people.
In his vision for a federal Philippines, Pimentel saw the necessity of having party-lists and regional parties to represent more voices of Filipinos with shared values identifiable by generation, culture, region, and sector.
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate
Malaking kawalan sa bansa ang pagkamatay ni Sen. Nene dahil sa kanyang malaking ambag sa paglaban sa diktaduryang Marcos at maging matapos nito. Ipinagtanggol niya ang mga karapatang pantao hanggang sa mga huling araw ng kanyang buhay. Ang buhay niya ay dapat malaman at sundan ng lahat, lalu na ng mga nasa pamahalaan.
Former Bayan Muna congressman Neri Colmenares
Sen. Pimentel is a sterling example of a public servant who stood up for what is right even if it meant going to jail for several times.
Sana ay madami pang mga kawani at opisyal ng pamahalaan ang tumulad sa halimbawa ni Sen. Nene, palaging bayan muna ang inuuna.
Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon (via Twitter)
Rest in Peace, tatay Nene Pimentel. The nation lost a great Filipino. My condolences to Comm. Gwen P Gana of [CHR].
Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution
The members and staff of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution are deeply saddened by the passing of Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, a stalwart of federalism and one of the crafters of the ConCom draft Bayanihan federalism constitution.
Senator Pimentel was not just a public servant. He was, above all, a steadfast advocate of true reforms and real change, a defender of the rights of all, a man of humility, honesty and integrity, a constitutionalist, and a great Filipino and patriot.
It is no coincidence that Senator Pimentel began his career in government and his service to the nation as one of the young delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention – and capped it with a memorable stint as a member and vice chairman of the Consultative Committee that drafted the Bayanihan Federalism Constitution.
The Filipino nation will forever be grateful to Senator Pimentel for his unselfish service and great sacrifice. He will surely be missed, but his legacy will live on and continue to inspire Filipinos in seeking and aspiring for a better nation for themselves and their children.
We, the members and staff of the Concom, are honored and privileged to have worked with him in the service of the nation.
We join his family and all Filipinos in mourning his passage and praying for the peace of his soul in the arms of the Creator.
Rest, our dear friend and compatriot – you have earned it well.
And rest assured that we shall not tire in carrying on your dream of a federal Philippines, and carrying it through. You have left us with a great burden, but we will soldier on – with your guidance and inspiration.
As ConCom chairman, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, said:
“The best tribute we can give to Nene is to work harder for federalism...his last advocacy for a better Philippines. It is not a coincidence that on October 26 we are going to Cagayan de Oro, his home province, to push for federalism. Nene will always be with us even if he is now in the embrace of the Lord.”
Philippine National Police
The Philippine National Police under PNP OIC, PLtGen Archie Francisco Gamboa joins the nation in mourning over the passing of a great Filipino statesman, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the Father of the Local Government Code who crafted legislation that defined the role of the local government sector vis-à-vis the agencies that compose the interior sector, which includes the PNP.
In his long years of government service, Senator Pimentel has touched many lives with his own brand of leadership and faithful public service.
His advocacy for good governance is a legacy that the PNP is proud to inherit with his passing.
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces extends its sympathies to the family and friends of former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, who passed away today.
Pimentel was a patriot, a democrat and friend of the Philippine revolution. He locked arms with the Filipino people in their fight against the US-Marcos dictatorship. He was detained several times and accused of helping the underground movement.
In 1987, Pimentel, as senator, voted against the renewal of the lopsided 1947 Military Bases Agreement.
He has steadfastly opposed efforts to distort Philippine history and depict Marcos as a hero. The Filipino people and youth thank him for keeping alive memories of past struggles. His lifestory inspires the people in their present resistance to tyranny.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
Nene Pimentel was a conscience of our nation and a tireless defender of democracy at a time when too many Filipinos chose the path of silence, acceptance and obedience to the dark heart of a dictatorship. He authored the Local Government Code to ensure genuine autonomy and self-direction for local governments. This was needed to head off the unwarranted impositions of imperial Manila. That is the core of the unrealized dream of Federalism which he never saw come to pass.
Senator Pimentel also authored the Cooperative Code of the Philippines and the Charter of the Charter of the Cooperative Development Authority. This was meant to empower ordinary workers, farmers and fisherfolks by pooling their finance together to help each other free their class from economic exploitation by cartels,oligarchs and the vested interests.
His lifelong struggle for political democracy and economic democracy inspires the TUCP and the entire working class to never give up and to never surrender.
He will be missed.