‘Errand boy’ ex-Senator Lina grieves loss of ‘legendary’ Nene Pimentel
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Jose Lina Jr. called himself an “errand boy” of the late Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., adding that he was proud to have served the “legend.”
“I lost a father, a teacher and friend. That’s how sad I am with the passing of former Senate President Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel Jr., ” Lina said as he began his eulogy for the late senator during the necrological service at the Senate on Wednesday.
Nene Pimentel passed away last October 20 at the age of 85.
Lina said his grief came from the realization that the country has lost a “great Filipino and a statesman, who championed freedom, human rights, and the pursuit of excellence in local governance.”
“Truly, the nation lost a legend, an ideal public servant, fearless defender of democracy, a prolific speaker and writer, a great teacher, legislator and executive, a faithful husband to Bing, a doting father to six children, a loving friend, a most of all, a prayerful person, and a god-fearing citizen of this beloved Philippines,” he said.
Lina said he was fresh from law school when he first encountered the late senator, who was then a keynote speaker in an event in Cebu City in February 1982.
Nene Pimentel’s moving speech, he said, had inspired him to dream of serving the people and the country with courage and determination.
“So inspired was I in being one of Nene’s proteges that I felt proud to be Nene’s ‘errand boy,’” Lina said, recalling how he prepared the late senator’s press releases and statements to the media.
“For his principled fortitude during trying times, for his morale uprightness, endearing sincerity and humility, legislative brilliance , unquestionable integrity and a host of other virtues that make him an outstanding Filipino, Nene is truly legendary and shall be deeply missed,” he added.
Aside from Lina, former Senators Rene Saguisag, Anna Diminique Coseteng, Heherson Alvarez, and Orlando Mercado also gave their eulogies for the former Senate leader.
Coseteng, and incumbent Senators Risa Hontiveros and Pia Cayetano became emotional while paying tribute to the former Senate leader. /je