CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. has earned a stature politics, according to those who knew him.

“You are no longer a politician, but a statesman,” said retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Romulo Borja, in his eulogy during Pimentel’s wake at the City Tourism Hall Wednesday night.

Borja recalled that one time, in an Integrated Bar of the Philippines gathering, he introduced Pimentel as “Right Honorable,” which means very honorable, referring to his contributions to the country’s political landscape.

Manuel Jaudian recalled how he first met Pimentel in the 1980s as a radio reporter and how he impressed with the man’s work ethic and his relationship with the press.

“Tatay Nene did not turn down any reporter who wishes to interview him, no matter the time of day. He was always accommodating to the media,” Jaudian said.

One thing that Jaudian, now a dean of criminology in one of the colleges here, noted was that Pimentel did not enrich himself while being an elected politician.

“He didn’t have any money, and he was the only politician I knew who had no businesses. He only depended on lawyering for his livelihood,” he said.

Jaudian said Pimentel used to run for public office without any campaign funds from his personal pocket.

“Whether he wins or loses in an election, he was very determined,” he added.

Andres Bade Jr., Pimentel’s second degree cousin, also shared fond memories of the deceased legislator.

Bade said he had been living with the Pimentels for close of 30 years, first as a working student then as a staff when the elder Pimentel became a senator.

“He (Pimentel) was very thorough. He doesn’t want laziness. You have to know his routine and be prepared for it. He expects you to do your job and be good at it,” he said.(

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