MILF mourns Pimentel’s death; CPP describes him as “patriot”

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 October) — The Bangsamoro people are one with the nation in mourning the death of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. on Sunday, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said.

Pimentel, who was among the courageous Mindanawon leaders who fought the Marcos dictatorship, contributed a lot in finding solution to the Mindanao conflict, Ebrahim stressed, as he expressed the group’s sympathies to his family.

“Senator Nene will forever be remembered by the Bangsamoro people for his very significant contribution to the efforts in finding genuine solution to the Bangsamoro problem,” Ebrahim said in a text message.

Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., MindaNews filie photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

He added that since the administration of former President Corazon Aquino (1986 to 1992), Pimentel was among those “who worked very hard to attain peace in Mindanao until the recent conclusion of the peace process.”

He was the Cory Aquino’s chief negotiator in the peace talks with the MILF in 1987. No peace agreement was signed under the Cory Aquino administration but a peace agreement was finally signed on March 27, 2014 under the administration of Cory’s son, Benigno Aquino III: the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro which paved the way for the establishment of the BARMM.

The BARMM replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao early this year, with Ebrahim appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new region’s interim Chief Minister.

Ebrahim also expressed the sympathies of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to the family of Pimentel, founder of the Partiod ng Demokratikong Pilipino and “Father of the Local Government Code.”

The BTA which Ebrahim heads is the body tasked to govern the BARMM until its regular officials are elected in 2022.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) described Pimentel as “a patriot, a democrat and friend of the Philippine revolution.”

“He locked arms with the Filipino people in their fight against the US-Marcos dictatorship. He was detained several times and accused of helping the underground movement,” the statement read.

It also noted that in Pimentel was among 12 senators who voted on September 16, 1991 against a proposed treaty that would have extended the stay of American forces in Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base.

“He has steadfastly opposed efforts to distort Philippine history and depict Marcos as a hero. The Filipino people and youth thank him for keeping alive memories of past struggles. His lifestory inspires the people in their present resistance to tyranny,” the CPP said. (Bong S. Sarmiento /MindaNews with a report from Carolyn O. Arguillas)

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