Koko's Jewel refutes Migz: I was never a battered wife

Senator Koko Pimentel and estranged wife Jewel's statement refuting Migz Zubiri.

The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – I was never a battered wife. Leave me out of your political campaign. This was the message sent Friday by the wife of reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Jewel May Lobaton-Pimentel, as she refuted Migz Zubiri’s claim that she was a battered wife.

“I categorically state that I have never claimed nor complained to Migz Zubiri that I was a battered wife. In the close to twelve years that we lived together, my husband Koko Pimentel has never ever physically hurt me,” Lobaton-Pimentel said in a statement released by the media office of Team PNoy, the LP-led coalition where the senator is seeking reelection.

“For the best interest of my children, please keep my marital issues out of the campaign issues for a Senate seat this 2013 elections. My marital issues are not national issues. And my children have been greatly affected. Please spare my two sons, as they are mere children aged 8 and 3 years old respectively,” Lobaton-Pimentel said.

Pimentel has been engaged in a word war the past few days with Zubiri, a candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), whom Pimentel accused of misrepresenting his achievements in Bukidnon, where the Zubiris are among the most established political families.

Zubiri had served as senator for four years, then resigned with two years left in his term, shortly before the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruled Pimentel was a victim of poll fraud and should have taken the seat that Zubiri occupied for two-thirds of the usual six-year term.

In a face-off interview with his political rival, Zubiri said, "His estranged wife is my cousin and she herself confided to me that she is a battered wife." Pimentel denied the allegation and said that his estranged wife "is executing a signed statement so that her words will not be misinterpreted."

Lobaton-Pimentel in her statement admitted having consulted Zubiri for help, but only to get custody of her children through their common friend.

“A meeting was arranged by this person sometime in July 2012 in his residence in Makati at around 9:30 in the evening. Migz Zubiri and Audrey Zubiri were there. During that meeting, my friend did most of the talking. I cannot remember anymore everything that my friend discussed. But the issue I wanted help on was the matter of the custody of my children. I remember crying that night because I was greatly affected by this custody issue and felt hopeless. Strategies were discussed on how to get the children from Koko,” she said.

“In the meantime, Koko and I were able to resolve the issue of custody, bearing in mind the best interest of the children. We were able to come up with our own system of shared custody of the children,” she added.

“Hence, a few days after the meeting, I called Audrey Zubiri and informed her that I got the children already. I extended my gratefulness for their prayers and she thanked me too and told me THAT THEIR FAMILY (ZUBIRI’S) DECIDED NOT TO USE MY MARITAL ISSUES WITH MY HUSBAND KOKO PIMENTEL in any of Migz Zubiri’s propaganda in his Senate bid in 2013,” Lobaton-Pimentel emphasized.

“I ask those who claim to have been blessed with happy and perfect marriages to please not delight that others are in difficult or troubled marriages,” she said.