Latest Stories

Pimentel wife denies senator hit her


Senator Koko Pimentel and Jewel May Lobaton . INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines—The estranged wife of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has come to his defense in the wake of allegations that he had beaten her up.

Jewel May Lobaton on Friday denied the statement of former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri on national television that Pimentel had hit her.

“No one has the right to use our marital issues for political advancement. It is insensitive,” said Lobaton, former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe first runner up and Miss MassKara Queen 1993.

“Koko has never laid his hands on me. I have never been physically abused by him,” she added.

Pimentel and Lobaton have been living apart since November 2011, but Lobaton said they have remained very good friends. They have two sons—Martin, 8, and Akio, 3.

She added that she has been campaigning for Pimentel’s re-election. “I believe he can do a lot of good things for this country, and that he will make it in this election,” she said.

Pimentel is seeking re-election under Team PNoy while Zubiri is included on the senatorial line up of the United Nationalist Alliance.

Both appeared in Studio 23’s “Mano Mano ni Anthony Taberna on Sunday.

Toward the end of the debate, Zubiri alleged that Lobaton told him that she was abused by her husband.

She said she was watching the show with her son Martin when Zubiri made the claim. She said she was shocked.

Her son even asked her what “bugbog (beat up)” meant. She said she had to explain to her son that his father never beat her up.

“I do not want my children to be traumatized. Lies should not be told. Koko is their father,” she said.

Lobaton recalled that in June 2012, she sought the help of a friend on how to get her children back from Pimentel who refused to give her back her sons.

“This person called his friend, Migz Zubiri, who is also my relative, if he could help me,” she said.

A meeting was arranged in July 2012 in Makati to discuss the custody of her children. Among those in the meeting were Zubiri and his wife, Audrey.

“As we were discussing it, I was crying because as a mother, at that time I was greatly affected and feeling hopeless. Being a physically battered wife therefore was not being talked about. Strategies were discussed on how to get the children from Koko,” she said.

“When the meeting ended, Migz and Audrey assured me of their support and prayers,” she said.

But a few days later, Lobaton said, she called Audrey Zubiri to inform her that her children were already with her.

“I extended my gratefulness for their prayers and she said, thank you, and that their family decided not to use my marital issues with Koko in any of Migz Zubiri’s propaganda in his senate bid in 2013,” she added.

Lobaton stressed that she and Pimentel were good friends now. He even said on national television that he wanted to save their marriage.

Speaking on ANC’s “Headstart,” Pimentel said he was trying to save his marriage and had not filed for annulment despite announcing his separation from his wife of 12 years.

“I have not yet filed because we are working on it. We are working on our troubled marriage and trying to save it. We are trying our best to work on it,” he said. “I miss her and the kids, of course.”

Lobaton said the senator took her out to dinner recently and has been calling her more often.

She said the annullment petition she filed in the Diocese of Bacolod has not been moving. She said she would leave to God what their future would be.

But she added she was open to saving her marriage. “We have to think about what is best for our children,” she said.

“He is protecting me and I assure you, I am protecting him,” she said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: battered wife , Jewel May Lobaton , marriage , Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. Massive infra spending set
  4. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  7. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  8. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  9. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  10. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace