In this file photo from July 2018, Pimentel Jr. (right), considered the father of federalism, shares a light moment with retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Nachura and ex-chief justice Reynato Puno after signing the draft charter for the proposed federal system of government at the PICC.
File photo
Palace pays tribute to the late Senator Pimentel
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - October 20, 2019 - 1:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday paid tribute to the late former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, Jr., calling him a "respected and courageous statesman" and praising him for his contribution to governance.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Pimentel, as the acknowledged father of the Local Government Code, "gave his wisdom and lent his voice to the need to empower local governments."  

"Today is a sad day for the nation. The Palace joins the Filipino people in mourning the demise of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and expressing condolences to his family, loved ones, colleagues and friends," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"Our people thank former Senator Pimentel for his long, fearless and principled track record of public service. He would forever be etched in our history as a giant among his peers who championed democracy and electoral reform and a visionary who espoused devolution of powers and strong local governance," he added.

Panelo said the Duterte administration is grateful to the elder Pimentel for joining the consultative committee formed by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution and propose amendments that would lead to the establishment of a federal government.

"As we pay tribute and honor to this respected and courageous statesman, we fervently pray for the Almighty to grant Senator Nene eternal repose. May the perpetual light shine upon him," the presidential spokesman said.

'Inspiring statesman, freedom fighter'

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called Pimentel "an inspiring statesman," "a freedom fighter," a "proponent of democracy," and a "bright light" to his fellow Kagayanons.

"He (Pimentel) was an inspiration to many, making a difference not only through  legislation but later on through his advocacy, such as federalism. Senator Pimentel was a true public servant," Andanar said in a statement.  

"His passing is not just a loss for those who knew him but a loss for the entire country. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Pimentel family, our prayers are with you," he added.

Andanar said the late senator was also his neighbor and a close family friend who cheered and supported his family.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Pimentel was "a great leader and a pillar of our democracy."

"Former Senator Aquilino 'Nene' Pimentel, Jr. was a true patriot. He fought and sacrificed to win the freedoms Filipinos now enjoy. As author of the Local Government Code, he laid down the high standards of good and honest governance in all levels of our bureaucracy," 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.

AQUILINO PIMENTEL JR. KARLO NOGRALES MARTIN ANDANAR SALVADOR PANELO
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