Koko opens up about separation from wife

Posted at 05/24/12 11:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Thursday opened up about his separation with his wife of nearly 12 years, Jewel May Lobaton.

"I am single in my bedroom, yes," Pimentel said.

The senator said he and Lobaton have been separated since November 2011. He said they have agreed to share custody over their 2 sons, Martin Emmanuel and Aquilino Justo.

"I always assumed that no union would be perfect so if we had some bumps in our marriage, I assumed this is normal. I never thought about how long we have had some incompatibilites or problems because I assumed it is normal," he said.

Asked if there was a third party involved, he said: "None that I know of."

Pimentel's reaction came following reports that Bacolod City Rep. Anthony Golez has denied causing the break-up between the senator and his wife.

Pimentel said he does not know how they will handle the annulment since the law states there should be no collusion between the parties. He also noted that in annulment, one of the parties must be at fault.

"Who decides to file will file. I will prepare on my own," he said.

The senator said he is now keeping an open mind about passing a divorce bill because of his ongoing experience.

However, he said he will not support a more liberal view towards divorce where both parties agree to the divorce.

"We must be careful. It should be Philippine-style. That is what we are going to look for," he said.

The senator said he and his former wife are still on speaking terms. "We have agreed to try our best to remain as friends and parents to our 2 sons," he said.

The senator said Lobaton is planning to run for Congress as a party-list representative. He also said he plans to ask her to campaign for him in his re-election bid for 2013.