Close  
FORMER SENATE PRESIDENT AQUILINO PIMENTEL JR.

Mindanao awaits homecoming of illustrious son

/ 05:59 PM October 20, 2019

Updated @ 11:33 p.m., Oct. 20, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — Residents of this capital city of Misamis Oriental await the arrival of its most illustrious son, the late freedom fighter and Senate leader Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.

ADVERTISEMENT

His remains are scheduled for public viewing at the City Hall here from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning, as announced by his son Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

The older Pimentel started what became a remarkable political career in this province as its representative in the Constitutional Convention of 1971.

FEATURED STORIES

He also served as mayor of this city from 1980 to 1984, and it was during these stints that he shaped his argument for the transfer of a greater bulk of political power from the central to the local governments.

“The people of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental would be especially honored to pay our last respects and to give a tribute to Senator Nene … as I am sure that our neighbors here in Mindanao would also join us,” said the city’s mayor, Oscar Moreno.

“He was a great statesman, a true Mindanaoan, and we in Cagayan de Oro are proud of our native son,” said Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

Flags at half-staff

“We owe to him the Local Government Code. Mindanao has just lost one of her cherished sons,” said Zia Alonto Adiong, a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. “Democracy would not have been restored in the country [were] it not for the fearless few like Sen. Nene Pimentel who fought tooth and nail to bring freedom back [to] the people.”

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed all local governments to fly their flags at half-staff in honor of Pimentel.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano cited Pimentel for his “long-standing service to the country guided by his steadfast integrity and nationalism.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said: “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.”

A “maverick who could not resist a good fight, many of which by his lonesome,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto described the late senator.

Detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima said Pimentel was a “defender of democracy, [who] will be remembered for how he fought the martial law dictatorship, at the expense of his own freedom.”

In Malacañang, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo praised Pimentel for being “a true public servant.”

His ally in the anti-Marcos struggle and former Senate colleague, human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag, called Pimentel a “gem of purest ray serene.”

“He focused on serving the people in all his decades of public service,” Saguisag said. “Not self, but country was the many-splendored fixed star he went by.”

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay—another comrade in the anti-Marcos struggle—said: “More than a senator, Nene was a friend. We… fought alongside each other on issues that will protect our people and promote progress.”

In a statement, Vice President Leni Robredo said: “Standing up to the dictator [Ferdinand] Marcos during martial law, asserting Philippine sovereignty during the debates for the renewal of the US bases treaty, running as [vice president] 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 [Pimentel’s] place in our people’s history.”

—With reports from Erwin Mascariñas, Divina Suson, Leah Agonoy, Jigger J. Jerusalem, Bong Sarmiento, Jhesset O. Enano, Dexter Cabalza, Julie M. Aurelio, Dj Yap, Marlon Ramos and Jeannette I. Andrade

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., Mindanao, obituary, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP)
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.