MANILA, Philippines – Despite their separation, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and his estranged wife Jewel May Lobaton remain “civil” and “friendly,” the lawmaker said on Wednesday.
Pimentel, who made a guest appearance on the ABS-CBN morning talk show “Kris TV,” said he wants to show his children that he and Lobaton are still in good terms even if they are no longer together.
Lobaton tied the knot with Pimentel nearly 12 years ago. They have two sons, Martin Emmanuel and Aquilino Justo.
“Yes, civil po kami. Friendly,” he told “Kris TV” host Kris Aquino. “I made sure na friendly so that, you know, para makita ng mga bata na kahit may physical separation ay friends pa rin ang parents nila. Sana ma-achieve ‘yun ng lahat ng may problema [sa kasal nila]."
Pimentel did not mention the reason behind the split. But he gave this advice to viewers of the morning talk show: “Alam dapat natin ang priorities natin. Kung merong isang bagay na nakakasagabal na sa priority, you should be willing to let go of that thing.
“’Yung conflict in a relationship, siyempre ‘di naman maiiwasan ‘yun kasi two people are involved. ‘Pag more than one, may problema na.”
Asked if he is open to having another relationship, the senator said: “I see dating as a means to acquire friends. Open pa rin ako doon kasi kailangan naman ng mga kaibigan at inspiration. Ang kaibigan ‘di lang dapat puro lalaki unless machi-chismis ka niyan.”
Last month, Lobaton announced in a press conference that she had filed a church annulment of her marriage to Pimentel.
The former beauty queen also denied having an affair, reacting to a photo sent to the media showing her kissing another man, allegedly Bacolod City congressman Anthony Golez.
Golez has also denied being the man in the photo.