“Today, our country has lost a true patriot, a freedom fighter, and a champion of democracy, human rights and local governance.
“I lost not just a colleague whom I shared nine colorful years in the Senate, but a true friend who I respect and admire for his service to the nation and our countrymen. I consider it an honor and a distinct privilege to have been succeeded by Ka Nene as Senate President in 2000.
“Ka Nene fought for our country with honor and pride. His name will forever be remembered in the halls of Congress and by our grateful nation.
“I offer my profound sympathy and condolences to the Pimentel family. Ka Nene is indeed a great loss to our nation. Rest now, Ka Nene.”