Robredo, senators mourn passing of Pimentel
Top Philippine government officials on Sunday mourned the passing of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
Aside from the official statement from Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Vice President Leni Robredo and several senators expressed their condolences in messages.
Robredo, in a statement, said the country has lost its "lead advocate for local governance, a tireless champion of human rights, and a true patriot."
"His long and storied career as a statesman is replete with moments of moral courage as he stood firm against the oftentimes cruel realities of politics and history," Robredo said.
"With the rest of a grateful Filipino nation, I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones," she added.
The members and staff of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution, which Pimentel was a key member, also condoled upon the passing of "a stalwart of federalism and one of the crafters of the ConCom draft Bayanihan federalism Constitution."
"Senator Pimentel was not just a public servant. He was, above all, a steadfast advocate of true reforms and real change, a defender of the rights of all, a man of humility, honesty and integrity, a constitutionalist, and a great Filipino and patriot," the statement read.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III released a statement following Pimentel's passing.
"My family and I bereave this very sad news. I feel like I lost a close relative and not just a friend," Sotto said.
Sotto was the Majority Lleader under Pimentel.
"My 6 years with him from 1998 to 2004 were very educational for me not only in politics but also in family matters. My family and I loved him," he added.
Among those who mourned were also Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles who called Pimentel "a true Mindanaoan."
"Manong Nene was an inspiration when I ventured into politics," Nograles said.
"We mourn the passing of a champion of democracy and human rights, but we should all be comforted with the thought that Manong Nene's accomplishments as public servant will continue to guide and inspire us and the many generations to come," he added.
"A visionary, democracy leader and a hard working legislator," was how Senator Christopher ''Bong'' Go remembered Pimentel.
"Tatay Nene, as he is fondly called, was a fellow Mindanaoan and a staunch ally in fighting for advocacies he shared with Tatay Digong even before President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration until now," Go shared.
"As one of the pillars of PDP-Laban, we are eternally grateful for his wisdom and support for this administration, especially during the 2016 and 2019 elections," he added.
Senator Richard Gordon recalled his strong commitment to "whatever causes he chose to advocate in his lifetime and persevered in pursuing them."
"He was a dedicated public servant, and even in retirement, continued to express his views on issues that mattered to him and that he believed were in the public interest. Rest in peace, Senator Nene Pimentel," he added.
Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr said Pimentel urged him to defend himself from attacks when he was a new senator.
"I did follow his advice by delivering my first privilege speech. Of course, while it took a long time for the truth to finally come out, truth nevertheless triumphed over the evil of lies and deception," he said.
The Commission on Human Rights, where Pimentel's daughter Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana is a commissioner, mourned the death of a "fearless Filipino statesman and human rights defender."
"Ka Nene will always be remembered for committing his life’s work to improving the lives of others, standing up for truth and integrity, and protecting our democracy," the CHR read. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS