Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., has passed away on Sunday morning, his daughter Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwendolyn "Gwen" Pimentel-Gana said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV aired on GMA News TV.
He was 85.
Gana said her father died at 5 a.m. on Sunday after battling lymphoma and pneumonia.
"Medyo mabilis ang pangyayari, dahil nakakapagsalita pa siya at nakakausap pa namin siya (noon). Sinasabi namin na mahal namin siya," Gana said.
"Humihingi kami ng dasal that he may have eternal rest at maraming salamat din sa mga nagdasal sa kanyang paggaling," she said.
"Si Tatay kasi ay may cancer pero nagkaroon siya ng pneumonia kaya siya isinugod sa ospital dahil hindi siya makahinga. Kaya doon siya ginamot. Ang causes ay mga organ failure so ganu'n na nga ang nangyari," Gana added.
Gwen Pimentel-Gana: Si tatay kasi ay may cancer pero nagkaroon siya ng pneumonia kaya siya isinugod sa ospital dahil hindi siya makahinga kaya doon siya ginamot, ang causes ay mga organ failure so ganun na nga ang nangyari.— DZBB Super Radyo (@dzbb) October 19, 2019
"We are very thankful that he went peacefully. And we know he is with God and we know it is the will of God... We are happy he has joined His Creator," she added.
Pimentel is survived by his wife, Lourdes, and their six children, Senator Koko Pimentel, Gwendolyn, Ma. Petrina, Aquilino, Teresa and Lorraine.
Senator Koko Pimentel thanked all those who became a part of his father's life.
"Our beloved Tatay Nene has joined his Creator at 5 am today Oct 20, 2019. We thank all those who have been a part of his life. We ask for prayers for the repose of Tatay Nene’s soul. Thank you to all," the senator said in a message posted by GMA News reporter Jam Sisante on Twitter.
Former Senate President Nene Pimentel has passed away.— Jam Sisante-Cayco (@jamsisante) October 19, 2019
His son Sen. Koko: “Our beloved Tatay Nene has joined his Creator at 5 am today Oct 20, 2019. We thank all those who have been a part of his life. We ask for prayers for the repose of Tatay Nene’s soul. Thank you to all.”
The former Senate President's remains will also be brought to the Senate on Wednesday morning, then to Cagayan de Oro City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, and will be returned to The Heritage Park on Friday afternoon. The schedule of interment has yet to be announced by the family.
Pimentel's death came a week after his family asked for prayers for his complete recovery since he has fallen very ill and confined in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of an undisclosed hospital.
Pimentel’s latest stint in government is being one of the members of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution and draft a new one which will pave the way for a federal form of government.
In July this year, Pimentel spoke at the Akademyang Filipino Forum on Federalism and said federalism can promote development due to increased tax collection by local government units.
In December 2018, Pimentel chastised the House of Representatives for not adopting ConCom’s proposal of a new Constitution which explicitly bans political dynasties.
Pimentel is the author of the landmark legislation—the Local Government Code—a law which which gave local government units the authority “to create their own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and charges which shall accrue exclusively for their use and disposition and which shall be retained by them; to have a just share in national taxes which shall be automatically and directly released to them without need of any further action; to have an equitable share in the proceeds from the utilization and development of the national wealth and resources within their respective territorial jurisdictions including sharing the same with the inhabitants by way of direct benefits; to acquire, develop, lease, encumber, alienate, or otherwise dispose of real or personal property held by them in their proprietary capacity and to apply their resources and assets for productive, developmental, or welfare purposes.”
Malacañang on Sunday thanked Pimentel for his "long, fearless and principled track record" of public service as it mourns the lawmaker's passing.
"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 spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"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.
Meanwhile, members of the ConCom tasked to propose changes to the 1987 Constitution expressed pride in having worked with Pimentel.
In a statement, ConCom spokesperson Ding Generson said the committee is deeply saddened by the passing of Pimentel, whom they describe as a "stalwart of federalism."
"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," Generoso said.
"We, the members and staff of the Concom, are honored and privileged to have worked with him in the service of the nation. We join his family and all Filipinos in mourning his passage and praying for the peace of his soul in the arms of the Creator," he added. —KG, GMA News