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Duterte visits Nene Pimentel’s wake after he cancels Japan trip because of unbearable back pain

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday paid his last respects to his friend and political ally, former Senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., who succumbed to lymphoma on October 20.

Duterte headed straight to Pimentel’s wake at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City, shortly after he arrived in Manila around 10:33 p.m, Tuesday, from his shortened Japan trip, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.

“Notwithstanding his trip to Japan being cut short due to a searing pain in the spinal pelvic area of his body, the President was able to endure the same and headed from Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to the wake of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr.,” Panelo said.

Ronald Munsayac, spokesperson of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), shared photos of the President visiting the wake of Pimentel.

The late Senate leader’s son, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, also went live on Facebook to document the President’s arrival in the wake.

Panelo said the President considers the late Senate President as a personal friend, who contributed “valuable service to the country as a public servant”.

Pimentel is one of the founders of PDP-Laban, whose current president and chairman are his son and President Duterte, respectively.

Pimentel’s remains will be brought to the Senate’s session hall in Pasay City on Wednesday morning for necrological rites.  

His remains will be flown to Cagayan de Oro City until Friday and will be returned on Saturday to the Heritage Memorial Park, where he will be laid to rest. 

Pimentel served as Senate President from November 2000 to July 2001, and was also a member of the now defunct Consultative Committee tasked by Duterte to amend the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the proposed shift to a federal government.