Koko’s wife wants kids returnedCebu Daily News
Bacolod City — A legal battle may be looming between Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and his estranged wife, Jewel May Lobaton for the custody of their two sons.
Lobaton is fighting to have her sons returned to her after Pimentel allegedly took them from her on July 1 and prevented her from seeing them.
“It has been more than a week that I am begging for Koko to show our two boys to me. I’ve not seen them and I am in pain,” said Lobaton, a former beauty queen.
But Pimentel denied he was preventing Lobaton from seeing their sons, ages 8 and 2.
He said his wife is free to see their children if she wants to, or visit their older son at his school in Quezon City. Pimentel admitted that the two children are staying with his parents in Quezon City. “We are currently negotiating the terms of custody of the boys,” he said.
Lobaton maintained that she has been asking Pimentel to allow her to see their children and to return them to her but the senator had turned down her requests. “I never wanted to make this a legal battle as it will affect mostly our children. But Koko ignores my requests,” she told the Inquirer.
Pimentel announced last May that he had been separated from Lobaton, his wife of almost 12 years, since November 2011.
He didn’t say what triggered the separation except that they had failed to resolve their differences.
Lobaton said they used to share custody although the two boys were staying with her in her house in Quezon City.
She allowed the senator to see the children any time he wanted “even if I know he didn’t deserve that.”
On June 28, Lobaton claimed Pimentel took her sons and promised to return them on July 1. But six days had passed, she added, and the boys were still with Pimentel.
She said she had been sending daily text messages to Pimentel, begging him to return her sons to her. But he had ignored her requests, she added.
Lobaton said she learned that the senator left her sons in the care of his parents. Sometimes, she added the boys were just left with their nannies.
“Up to now, I ask permission if I can see the boys in school when I know I can just visit and get the kids, but again I am waiting for his approval before I go see the boys. The mental and emotional anguish is killing me,” she added.
Because of her longing to see her children, Lobaton said she would cry in the middle of her meetings and had difficulty sleeping.
“I am so helpless now and I am only depending on prayers to strengthen me to face all these emotional and psychological torture,” she added.
Lobaton said she remained hopeful that she and Pimentel would be able to settle the issue on joint custody so her sons would not be traumatized.
But she warned Pimentel not to underestimate the mother’s love for her sons and vowed to continue fighting for their custody.
“I feel I have been deprived of my children and I know this is not healthy for our two boys that they are not experiencing my love and attention also,” she added. /INQUIRER