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Statement of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda on the demise of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.

October 20, 2019

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the demise of our dear former colleague, former Senate President, Nene Pimentel.

When I first became a Senator in 1998, he had been most welcoming and never hesitated to give advice about the nuances of the legislative process. He treated us neophytes as his equal.

We worked side by side in the 12th Congress, with him as Minority Leader and I as Majority Leader, and we were able to accomplish much and passed vital pieces of legislation. He had always been resolute in his role as fiscalizer and brilliantly scrutinized every piece of legislation we took up to make sure that the quality of the laws passed and debates held would be worthy of the mandate given to us by the people.

His sense of accountability to the public was unparalleled. He wrote his own speeches and reports, endured lengthy debates despite physical difficulties, and always made himself available for interviews by the media or for queries even by his own colleagues. He and I shared similar advocacies, including climate change, environment protection. He was my co-champion. When no one seemed to support me in my climate journey, Nene would be there, early on. He understood. He cared.

Inasmuch as his fearless leadership, integrity and unblemished record as public official will be a great loss for the country and for our people, I have no doubt that he has left a lasting legacy through the brand of public service that Nene had been known for. He will surely be missed.”