Aquilino “Nene” Quilinging Pimentel Jr. was born on December 11, 1933 in Northern Mindanao. A human rights lawyer and federalist, he became a household name in the Philippines as an opposition leader against the Marcos Regime – imprisoned multiple times for his criticisms against the dictator.
“Ang daming namatay, ang daming disappeared na mga kababayan…”
“You must always remember the ends never justifies the means.”
In 1983, while in Cebu City, Pimentel would be apprehended once more on charges of rebellion. He was detained at an unknown location, allegedly for having given 100 pesos to a commander of the New People’s Army (NPA). His wife and family managed to trace him to Camp Sergio Osmeña and later to Camp Cabahug in the City of Cebu. Even under captivity, his supporters from Cagayan De Oro and other parts of the country visited him by the hundreds to keep his spirits high. Nene disputed the charges and was later released. Returning home, he was mobbed by thousands of his supporters upon his arrival at the pier of Cagayan De Oro. He was later, once again, arrested for allegedly engaging in ambuscades. His supporters contributed centavos and peso coins in efforts to bail him out. Pimentel was subsequently placed under house arrest for almost seven months.
From the confines of his home, Nene kept abreast of national news, helping to rally the opposition, running his city and launching his bid as assemblyman for the Batasang Pambansa. He protested relentlessly and fearlessly against injustice, fraud, corruption and Marcos’ dictatorial rule. In 1984 he won his seat at the Batasan, but once again was removed by the administration for alleged electoral fraud. Ever the relentless critic, he was often seen with Ninoy’s widow, Cory, as they rallied the opposition. He had agreed at one point to be Cory’s running mate in the Snap Elections, but graciously stepped aside when it was called for Salvador “Doy” Laurel to do so in his place.
After the regime he would serve as senator for more than two decades. Consistently, he would remind the youth that the martial law era was a dark moment in Philippine history that should not be glorified. In 2018, reacting to claims from former Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, that no one was arrested in Martial Law, Pimentel said: “Siguro nakalimutan na niya ako. That’s part of aging… Maliwanag naman siguro na marami ang hinuli.”
His memory and message to future generations remained clear despite the white-washing efforts of perpetrators. “Ang daming namatay, ang daming disappeared na mga kababayan,” he said in a Palace briefing. “You must always remember the ends never justifies the means.”
 Gutierrez, Jason (24 October 2019), “Nene Pimentel, 85, Dies; Filipino Politician Stood Up to Marcos”, The New York Times, retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/obituaries/nene-pimentel-aquilino-philippines-dead.html
 Senate of the Philippines (18th Congress), “Aquilino Q. Pimentel. Jr.” profile retrieved online from https://legacy.senate.gov.ph/senators/senpres/pimentel.asp
 Espiritu, A. C. (1993). September 29, 1972. In A. C. Espiritu. How democracy was lost : a political diary of the Constitutional Convention of 1971-1972. Quezon City: New Day Publishers.
 Ibid, October 7. Pimentel is cited to have addressed the Supreme Court about the Martial Law Proclamation. While there had been convicts caught following the bombings, there was no clear evidence connecting it to the NPA.
 Ibid, November 29, 1972.
 Senate of the Philippines (18th Congress), “Aquilino Q. Pimentel. Jr.”
 Ibid. Pimentel’s wife Bing recalled how they launched his campaign with only 2,000 pesos – all the money which the couple could then muster.
 Manglinong, Dan (21 September 2018), “’ He might’ve forgotten about me’: Nene Pimentel counters Enrile’s new video”. Interaksyon, retrieved from https://interaksyon.philstar.com/breaking-news/2018/09/21/134336/aquilino-pimentel-juan-ponce-enrile-bongbong-marcos-martial-law-video/
 Placido, Dharel (21 September 2018), “Pimentel hits Enrile’s martial law ‘revision’: that’s part of aging”. ABS-CBN News, retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/21/18/pimentel-hits-enriles-martial-law-revision-thats-part-of-aging
 Manglinong (2018), “’ He might’ve forgotten about me’: Nene Pimentel counters Enrile’s new video”.