That’s me with former Senate president Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel. Taken last Aug. 20, 2016 when he guested on Teka Muna.
The tale of 2 tatays
RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2019 - 12:00am

Last Oct. 20, the country woke up to the sad news of the passing of former Senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel at age 85. He was known as the “father of the local government code,” co-founder of PDP-Laban and supporter of federalism in the Philippines.

I had the privilege of interviewing him a couple of times on Teka Muna and Pasada 630, and he was always very accommodating and patient with our questions. Among many other things, he explained why he strongly opposed the restoration of the death penalty, why federalism could be the answer to the country’s poverty problems, and why we must never bring back Martial Law.

When Sen. Pimentel’s body was brought to the Senate for the necrological service, Senators Pia Cayetano, Risa Hontiveros and Nikki Coseteng could not help but shed tears when they delivered their eulogies. Sen. Koko Pimentel cried unabashedly when he thanked the Senate for helping his Tatay achieve his vision and goals as a legislator. Undoubtedly, Sen. Nene Pimentel was revered as a statesman, husband and father.

The day after his death, his wife Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel graciously allowed us to interview her. She revealed that even though Sen. Nene knew of his illness (lymphoma) two years ago, this didn’t stop him from going around the country to promote federalism. She added that next year would have been their 60th wedding anniversary (they were married on April 30, 1960), and that they were looking forward to celebrating their diamond anniversary.

Days earlier, on Oct. 15, Miguel Barretto — father of controversial sisters Gretchen, Marjorie and Claudine — passed away at age 82. I wish I could say he was laid to “rest,” but during his wake, there was a scuffle, altercation, shouting match and hair pulling among his daughters that even Pres. Duterte could not stop. To the president’s credit, he tried to patch things up between the sisters but his convincing powers were not enough. It was probably easier for him to ask for a ceasefire from the MNLF, MILF and NPA.

But what grudges do the Barretto sisters hold against one another that are so unforgivable that they couldn’t even find it in themselves to bury the hatchet during their father’s wake? So many people are commenting that though they are all beautiful, flawless and articulate, they’ve somehow lost their sense of propriety. What makes it even worse is that they’re washing their dirty linen in public for all to feast on. Is it really necessary to turn this into a national issue?

Nov. 23 will be the 40th day since their dad’s passing. Hopefully, they will have come to their senses by then and learn to forgive one another so that healing can begin. After all they’re still family.

AQUILINO “NENE” PIMENTEL
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