‘Nene Pimentel would have made a good President’
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. would have made a good President.
This was the pronouncement of former senator Bam Aquino on Tuesday, as he revealed that Pimentel was one of the leaders eyed to succeed former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Nung 80s kasi naaalala ko pa nung kasama namin siya noong panahon ng laban sa diktadura, I was very young at that time, siguro mga 6 or 7 years old,” Aquino told reporters at the Heritage Park in Taguig City where Pimentel’s wake was being held.
(Back in the 80s, I remember when we were with him in fighting the dictatorship. I was very young at that time, maybe 6 or 7 years old.)
“Maraming meetings yung mga leaders ng opposition and I remember yung pagtingin kay Senator Nene Pimentel noong panahong ‘yun. Sabi, ‘balang araw ito kung magiging Presidente ng Pilipinas,’” he said.
(There were meetings among opposition leaders and I remember how Senator Nene Pimentel was viewed at that time. They say, ‘someday, he will become the President of the Philippines.)
Asked if he thinks Pimentel would have made a good President, Aquino said: “Yes, definitely.”
“Naaalala ko yung mga panahong yun, this was even before EDSA [People Power Revolution], isa siya sa mga nakikita nung mga tao noon na posibleng sumunod matapos ang mga Marcoses. Of course alam natin na nag-unite yung oposisyon kay Tita Cory (former President Corazon Aquino) noong 1986 but at that time noong maraming leaders ng oposisyon, isa siya sa mga talagang tiningala,” Aquino said.
(I still remember at that time, this was even before EDSA People Power Revolution, he was one of the people seen to succeed the Marcoses. Of course we know that the opposition united for [former President Corazon Aquino] in 1986 but at that time, when there were a lot of opposition leaders, he really was one of the leaders people looked up to.)
Pimentel was one of the leaders who criticized the declaration of martial law under the Marcos regime and decided to run for the interim national assembly under Lakas ng Bayan (Laban) with Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
In 1987, Pimentel won a senatorial seat following the EDSA People Power Revolution.
“Si Tito Nene ay isa sa mga pinakamatapang na lider ng ating bayan—hindi pabago-bago ang kanyang pananaw sa mga issue. Pinaglaban nya ang mga bagay-bagay na tingin nya’y mahalaga at importante sa ating mga kapwang Pilipino,” he added.
(Nene is one of the most courageous leaders in our country. He is consistent with his views on isles. He fought for the things that he sees are important for his fellow Filipinos.)
Young leaders can learn from Pimentel, former senators
Aquino said that many young leaders today would learn a lot from the senatorial batch that was elected following the EDSA People Power Revolution.
“That was one of the best batches in Senate history,” Aquino said.
He said that the country should pay its respects towards Pimentel.
Pimentel died on October 20 after fighting lymphoma and pneumonia.
His wake is currently being held in Taguig City, and is scheduled to be transferred to the Senate on Wednesday morning. /je
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