By Jules Vivas
At age 85, democracy stalwart and former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr., more fondly known as Tatay Nene, passed away on Sunday morning after fighting for dear life in an intensive care unit.
His son, former Senate president Koko Pimentel said in a statement, “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.”
Tatay Nene lost his life to lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the immune system.
News of the late senator’s admittance to the ICU circulated online, when spokesperson and public information chair of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Ron Munsayac called for prayers on Twitter.
Married to Lourdes de la Llana, Tatay Nene has six children namely Aquilino Martin III aka Koko Pimentel, Gwendolyn Petrecia, Ma. Petrina, Aquilino Justinian IV, Teresa Lourdes, and Lorraine Marie.
Esteemed as the Father of the Local Government Code for having principally authored Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, Nene Pimentel was a political firebrand who had fashioned some of the most pioneering laws that shaped Philippine history. Some of the laws he authored are the Cooperative Code, the Philippine Sports Commission Act, the Act Creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act, the Generic Drugs Act, and the Act Establishing the Philippine Police under a Reorganized Department of Interior and Local Government, among others. The lawmaker was also famous for the founding of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) in 1982 to oppose the then-ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
His political career ended nine years ago, only after imperiously leading a chamber during the impeachment trial of his good friend, then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Instead of retiring, Tatay Nene became one of the earliest proponents of Federalism in the country, devoting his remaining years conducting lecture circuits about the federal principle.