Nagpaabot ng pakikidalamhati ang Malakanyang sa pagpanaw ni dating ­Senate President Aquilino ‘Nene’ ­Pimentel Jr. sa edad 85-anyos kahapon ng alas-singko nang umaga.

Ayon kay Presidential spokesperson ­Salvador Panelo, napakalungkot ng araw na ito para sa bansa at mamamayan.

Ayon kay Panelo malaki ang naiambag ni Pimentel sa kasaysayan ng bansa dahil na rin sa “napakahaba, walang takot at principled track record” nito sa public service.

“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,” ayon kay Panelo.

Magugunita na si Pimentel ang may akda ng Local Government Code, na sinusunod at umiiral sa bansa.

“The Duterte Administration is grateful for the elder Pimentel for joining the ­current government in his capacity as one of the members of the Consultative ­Committee (ConCom) tasked by President ­Rodrigo Roa Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution and draft a new charter that would pave the way for a federal form of government,” ani Panelo.

Kasabay nito, nanawagan din si ­Panelo ng panalangin sa sa taumbayan para sa namayapang senador na nasawi matapos ang pakikipaglaban sa sakit na lymphoma at pneumonia.

Samantala, labis ang pagdadalamhati ng mga senador sa pagpanaw ni dating ­Senate President Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel Jr.

“My family and I bereave this very sad news. I feel like I lost a close relative and not just a friend. I was his majority leader when he was Senate President and we were very close. He was my idol,” pahayag ni Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Ayon naman kay Senate Minority ­Leader Franklin Drilon, nawalan ang bansa ng ­tunay na makabayan, freedom fighter, at ­champion ng ‘democracy, human rights and ­local ­governance’. (Juliet de Loza-­Cudia/Prince Golez/Dindo Matining)