Most people dedicate their whole lives giving their best to leave a lasting mark. The late Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. followed his heart despite unbelievable challenges and difficulties to be a protector of this country’s freedom and a servant to his fellow men.
“Tatay Nene”, as he was fondly called by family and those close to him, was a patriot and a freedom fighter. He fought the Marcos regime who he believed committed an “ultimate sin” to democracy when then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law.
Being threatened and imprisoned four times didn’t stop him from fighting a corrupt government that he saw as one that only served the interests of the few, and not of the many.
Having been raised by a local lawyer of Cagayan De Oro and a public school teacher of Ilocos Norte, Nene Pimentel had his mind shaped to a life of public service. He graduated with a degree in law from Ateneo De Cagayan (now Xavier University) where his legacy started.
He was a journalist who started as a cub reporter for Mindanao Star. He did not just protect freedom of speech; he also denounced the abuse of it.
He was elected to the 1971 Constitutional Convention (Concon) as a representative of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental. He was elected mayor of Cagayan De Oro in 1980. He co-founded the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino in 1982 to ensure the representation of Visayas and Mindanao in the national government.
As a senate president for three terms, a long-time writer of books, and a principal author of some landmark laws, Pimentel’s contribution to the development of the local government system is so significant that he was dubbed as the “Father of the Local Government Code”.
Rex Book Store partnered with him in publishing “The Barangay and the Local Government Code” in 1994. This publication is Nene Pimentel’s lasting mark for several generations of law students, lawyers, and lawmakers.