MANILA - Democracy icon and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. was laid to rest at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City, Saturday.
Pimentel was given a shower of flowers and a three-volleys-over-fire salute by the Philippine Army Security before his remains were buried around Saturday noon.
His son Sen. Koko vowed to continue his advocacy, particularly in local autonomy, federalism, and cooperativism.
“Lahat ng oras, very productive siya. Kung magpapahinga man sa trabaho, productive din oras niya sa pamilya naman. Sana tularan natin. Advice niya sa akin, pinakanatatandaan ko, huwag mo aksayahin ang oras mo. Maging productive ka, gawin mo ang dapat mong gawin,” he said.
(He was very productive all the time. If he rests from work, he was still productive with his time for his family. I hope we can emulate him. His advice to me, the one I remember most, was to use my time wisely. Be productive and do what I have to do.)
“Mamimiss ko sa kaniya pag-usapan ang mga nangyayari sa bansa."
(I will miss our talks about what's happening to the nation.)
The statesman died on Oct. 20 after succumbing to lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, at 85.
“He was undergoing treatment for lymphoma for two years. Pero (But) he was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia,” his daughter Maria Petrina said.
Pimentel, who served as Senate President from November 2000 to July 2001, authored the Local Government Code of 1991, the Generic Drugs Act and the law that created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He was a staunch critic of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and was imprisoned for opposing martial rule.
Pimentel is survived by his wife Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel and their 6 children.
“Faith and prayers. He wanted us to be strong for Nanay. We have to. It’s going to be very difficult day-to-day,” Maria Petrina said.
Some of those who attended the burial were former Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, former senator Heherson Alvarez, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales.