Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. was praised and honored by his colleagues and friends during a necrological service held in his honor at the Philippine Senate in Pasay City.
Visibly moved by the snippets of anecdotes and stories about his father, Senator Koko Pimentel III thanked colleagues, friends and the Filipino people for their outpouring love for his late father.
“Thank you for helping him achieve his vision and goals as a legislator. Because of your support, he has left landmark legacies such as the Local Government Code and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, among others,” Pimentel said in his response to the eulogies.
“Public service was his passion, working on landmark legacies fulfilled him and made him happy.”
“Public service was his passion, working on landmark legacies fulfilled him and made him happy. Thank you for working with him to realize his dream of a fairer, democratic and productive Philippines,” the veteran legislator added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III presented Senate Resolution No. 17 to the Pimentel family, expressing the Senate’s sympathy and condolence on the death of the elder Pimentel.
In his eulogy, Sotto said Pimentel served as his mentor and was always accommodating whenever his counsel was needed.
The veteran legislator attributed his “familiarity in servicing his colleagues in the Senate to the experience of working with a number of models and icons in public service where Pimentel was a top mentor.”
A patient man, the seasoned lawmaker said, Pimentel took time to enlighten the Senate staff on various issues.
“His humility, simplicity in style and decorum make us all proud that we were his friends. He will be greatly missed. He had been a leading light of this Chamber, not only in good times but also during trials and darkest moments,” the senator said.
“On behalf of the Philippine Senate, the Sotto family and the Filipino people, may I extend to the bereaved family of Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. our heartfelt condolences. May you be comforted that Nene is dearly loved by one and all in this nation,” he added.
Equally emotional during the necrological service was Senator Pia Cayetano who considered Pimentel as a father figure and a mentor.
“Tito Nene did grand things, there is no doubt of that. But for me and those who knew him well, we remember him for the small things. For what is greatness without kindness? Without humility and compassion? Traits I saw in my mentor and seat mate. Beyond the brilliant legislator and defender of democracy that he was, I got to know a kind and gentle person,” a tearful Cayetano said in her eulogy.
“Pimentel would have made a good president.”
For her part, Senator Risa Hontiveros called Pimentel one of the country’s finest statesmen. Hontiveros said Pimentel protected and defended the country and would have made a good president.
Former Senator Jose Lina, Jr. said the Philippines has lost a great Filipino and statesman who championed freedom, human rights and the pursuit of excellence in local governance.
Lina said Pimentel touched and inspired the lives of many people. Personally, he said, he was inspired by Pimentel’s patriotism, steadfastness and integrity. He said Pimentel served the nation with courage and determination.
Former Senator Rene Saguisag recalled his time with Pimentel when they both fought for democracy and a better government.
Like Sotto, former Senator Orlando Mercado said Pimentel was his mentor and was the first to call for a total log ban. Mercado said he picked the importance of humility from Pimentel and admired Pimentel for his sense of justice, especially for the disadvantaged.
“Nene Pimentel was a happy warrior. He lived long enough to nurture our civil liberties that he fought for and which he had been jailed. He will remain in our history as an indomitable comrade in the struggle against the dictatorship and a champion of good local governance,” former Senator Heherson Alvarez said.
Former Senator Anna Dominique Coseteng said Pimentel helped shaped her views in her private life and work. Coseteng said Pimentel embodied the values of a nationalist and a warrior and that she was proud to have known him.
.Also present during the necrological service were Former President Joseph Estrada, former Vice President Noli de Castro, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Ronald dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence Go and former Senators Alfredo Lim, John Osmeña, Eddie Ilarde, Robert Jaworski, Loi Estrada, Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. and Wigberto Tañada.