Former Sen. Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel Jr. passed away on early Sunday, Oct. 20, at the age of 85 years old.
“Our beloved Tatay Nene has joined his Creator at 5 am today Oct 20, 2019,” his son Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. confirmed in a statement.
“We thank all those who have been part of his life. We ask for prayers for the repose of Tatay Nene’s soul. Thank you to all,” the incumbent senator added.
His passing came days after the Partido Democratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), a political party founded by the elder Pimentel, called for prayers on Monday, Oct. 14, for the former lawmaker who was in the intensive care unit.
In a separate statement, the Pimentel family said that the retired politician is very ill and currently under treatment.
His daughter Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwen Pimentel-Gana said on Tuesday, Oct. 15, that the elder Pimentel remains in ICU but is in stable condition after doctors removed water from his lungs.
Prior to his passing, Pimentel served as co-host of Dr. Cesar Chavez in DZRH’s Pimentel Hour, the program aired every Saturday from 8:00AM to 9:00AM.
As a senator, the elder Pimentel is known for being the author of the Local Government Code. He also sponsored 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.
Other bills authored and co-sponsored by Pimentel include the Generic Drugs Act and the Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a reorganized Department of Interior and Local Government.
Pimentel rose to national prominence after being elected as a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention.
After late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared Martial Law in 1972, Pimentel was detained for three months for opposing a Constitution that would please the then-Chief Executive. Afterwards, Pimentel was arrested three more times before the Marcos Regime ended in 1986.
In 2001, during his tenure as Senate President, Pimentel presided over the impeachment trial against then-President Joseph Estrada. Pimentel voted in favor of opening an envelope said to contain evidence that will prove the corrupt activities of Estrada. While they lost the vote, Estrada was removed from office following the second EDSA Revolution.
Under the term of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, Pimentel was appointed as member of the Consultative Committee that will review the 1987 Constitution and will draft a new one to pave way for a federal form of government.