BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Rep. Anthony Golez of Bacolod City has denied he is having an affair with Jewel Lobaton, estranged wife of Sen. Aquilino”Koko” Pimentel III.
He told reporters in a news conference here on Saturday that he and Lobaton were “very good friends” who worked together in causes concerning children.
“We work together in advocacies regarding children on a professional level. On a personal level, she is a very good friend,” said Golez, who was the deputy spokesperson of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Lobaton, former Binibining Pilipinas-Universe and Miss MassKara, heads the group, Ako Para sa Batang Pinoy, which helps Filipino children.
“We’re special friends. We know our limitations because we still have legal barriers and we will respect that. We are not ignorant of that,” he said.
“Whatever happens after the process of annulment, it is going to be a providential situation if something happens more than what we have right now,” he added.
It was the first time that Golez spoke about Lobaton after reports came out that the name of Lobaton was mentioned in the petition for annulment filed by his wife, Soraya Jaafar-Golez, against him at the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City early September.
The RTC also granted Soraya a temporary protection order that bars the congressman from their marital home in Capitolville, Bacolod.
Golez said he could not answer the allegations raised in the petition because the law has barred him from making any public disclosure.
“I really want to answer but my lawyers said let it be handled in the courts. I know that my conscience is clean and I shall properly address the accusations against me at the appropriate time and place,” he added.
Golez said he didn’t know who leaked the details on his annulment, which he stressed was a violation of the sub judice rule.
“If I find out who leaked it, they will be answerable to the court,” he added.
Golez said the court order that barred him from his own home was a normal procedure in an annulment case. “Anyone who has undergone annulment proceedings would know this,” he added.
He vowed to continue doing his job as a congressman.
“For the people, what is important is you are not a thief, you don’t fool people and you are not remiss in your work ,” he said.
He said he would run for reelection as an independent candidate after his party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, endorsed Mayor Evelio Leonardia as its official candidate for congressman in Bacolod.