MANILA – Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel has passed away Sunday morning after being confined at the intensive care unit (ICU) earlier last week. He was 85.
The news of Pimentel’s passing was confirmed by his son Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Facebook.
“Our beloved Tatay Nene has joined his Creator at 5 a.m. today (Oct. 20, 2019). We thank all those who have been part of his life. We ask for prayers for the repose of Tatay Nene’s soul. Thank you to all,” Koko said.
Nene was a senator for 17 years and has become a Senate President. He was the founder and chairman emeritus of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan.
Nene was born on Dec. 11, 1933 in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. He was elected as his province’s delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention under President Ferdinand Marcos until he became a fierce critic of the dictator.
He then served as lawyer for the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, helping farmers and the urban poor allegedly oppressed by Marcos.
Nene served as senator from 1987 to 1992, and from 1998 to 2010. He was Senate President from 2000 to 2001. Among the bills he authored and sponsored were the creation of the Philippine Sports Commission, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the Philippine National Police, the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Generic Drugs Act.
Nene lost the vice-presidential race in 1992 as Senator Jovito Salonga’s running mate. He also lost in the the 1995 Senate race over which he filed a protest due to alleged vote-padding and shaving or “dagdag-bawas.”
Pimentel’s political career ended nine years ago, only after imperiously leading a chamber during the impeachment trial of his then good friend, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.
Instead of retiring, Pimentel became one of the earliest proponents of Federalism in the country, devoting his remaining years conducting lecture circuits about the federal principle./PN