Senate honors ‘Nene’ Pimentel

FORMER and current senators will pay tribute to former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. today.

The Senate has been flying its flag at half-mast since yesterday as a sign of mourning.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, together with current and former senators, Senate Secretary Myra Villarica, Sergeant-At-Arms Rene Samonte, secretariat officials and employees will receive the remains of Pimentel at the foyer of the main entrance of the Senate building and escort the body to the Senate Session hall.

Sotto will present a resolution to Pimentel’s family, expressing the Senate’s sympathy and condolence over the former Senate President’s passing.

Expected to deliver eulogies for the late senator are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Pia Cayetano and former Senators Heherson Alvarez, Anna Dominique Coseteng, Jose Lina Jr. among others.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is expected to accept the resolution and give his response to the eulogy.

After the public viewing, the Senate will host an early lunch for the late senator’s family and relatives.

One of the finest politicians and statesmen in Philippine history, Pimentel was among the leading opposition leaders during the Marcos administration. He was called Don Quixote de Pimentel by his detractors for his courageous but lonely battle against corruption in government, electoral fraud and even foreign imperialism.

He co-founded the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and served as Senate President from 2000-2001.

As senator, he authored and sponsored landmark legislation such as the Local Government Code of 1991, the Cooperative Code, the Philippine Sports Commission Act, the Act creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act.

He also authored and co-sponsored the Generic Drugs Act and the Act Establishing the Philippine Police under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Pimentel ran and lost a bid for the vice presidency in 1992 when he stood as former Senator Jovito Salonga’s running mate.

Pimentel was also a proponent for federalism in the Philippines. He was a brilliant and meticulous lawyer who was known for his compassion and love for country.