MANILA - Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday married chef Kathryna Yu in a civil wedding at the Coconut Palace.
The bride, in tears, walked down the aisle with her parents to the song “The First Time I Loved Forever."
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio officiated the legal union of the couple.
The couple met at Pimentel’s victory party five years ago, where Yu was asked by her friend to simply tag along. Yu was unattached when she met the senator and had never dated a politician prior to meeting him.
In his vow, Pimentel thanked Yu for "electing" him as her husband.
"Today we vote with our hearts, thank you for electing me as your husband. This is the only election I really want to win," he said.
"Kath, I have loved you all these years. I may not have verbalized this because you know I’m a man of [a] few words but I hope you have felt my love and genuine concern for you in one way or another. Kath, you will always be my baby girl until our baby girl actually arrives."
For her part, Yu promised to be "the constant pillar" for the family they will build.
"You have made me realize that there is still so much I can achieve, not for myself, but for you and most important for our family," she said.
"This is why I promise to be patient for the course of our marriage, be the constant pillar for our family wherever our lifelong voyage takes us. I will be there for you and I promise you will never have to be alone in facing your challenges."
President Rodrigo Duterte, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and wife Helen Gamboa, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, and Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez were among the principal sponsors of the wedding.
Pimentel's other colleagues in the Senate were in attendance: Senators Cynthia Villar, Joel Villanueva, Gringo Honasan, JV Ejercito and Sherwin Gatchalian.
Among guests were Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Representatives Johnny Pimentel, Celso Lobregat and Mauyag Papandayan, former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Bacoor City Mayor Lani Revilla, Bureau of Corrections Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, and former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Pimentel officially announced his separation from his wife, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1998 Jewel May Lobaton, in May 2012. They were married for nearly 12 years and have two sons.
-- With reports from Mario Dumaual and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News