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Palace thanks Nene Pimentel for long, fearless, principled public service

Malacañang on Sunday thanked former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. for his "long, fearless and principled track record" of public service as it mourns the lawmaker's passing after battling lymphoma, and pneumonia.

"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.

Panelo noted Pimentel's contribution to the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991, which he said paved the way for the empowering of local governments.

The Duterte administration, he added, also expresses gratitude to Pimentel for helping to draft the federal charter in his capacity as a member of the presidential Consultative Committee tasked to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

"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," Panelo said.

Pimentel died at 5 a.m. on Sunday, according to his daughter Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwendolyn "Gwen" Pimentel-Gana.

His 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. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News