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Aquilino Martin de la Llana Pimentel III (born January 20, 1964), commonly known as Koko Pimentel, is a Filipino politician and legislator who is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. He previously became the 28th Senate President of the Philippines from 2016 to 2018.[2][3] He is also the current president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP–Laban). As the eldest son and third child of the former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., he is the first child of a previous Senate president to hold the post.[4] He was sworn in on August 12, 2011 and proclaimed as the 12th winning senator in the 2007 election.[5]

Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III
Senator Koko Pimentel
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
August 11, 2011
Senate Committee Chairmanships
Chair of the Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations
Assumed office
July 23, 2019
Preceded byLoren Legarda
Chair of the Senate Committee on
Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship
Assumed office
May 25, 2018
Preceded byJuan Miguel Zubiri
Chair of the Senate Committee on
Electoral Reforms and People's Participation
In office
July 24, 2018 – July 22, 2019
Preceded byLeila de Lima
Succeeded byImee Marcos
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded byoffice created
Succeeded byLeila de Lima
Chair of the Senate Committee on
Justice and Human Rights
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded byFrancis Escudero
Succeeded byLeila de Lima
28th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 25, 2016 – May 21, 2018
Preceded byFranklin Drilon
Succeeded byTito Sotto
National Youth Commission Commissioner for Mindanao
In office
Personal details
Aquilino Martin de la Llana Pimentel III

(1964-01-20) January 20, 1964 (age 55)
Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines
Political partyPDP–Laban (1990–present)
Jewel May Lobaton
(m. 2000; separated 2012)

Kathryna Yu (m. 2018)
ParentsAquilino Pimentel Jr.
Lourdes de la Llana-Pimentel
Alma materAteneo de Manila University (B.S.)
University of the Philippines Diliman (LL.B.)
ProfessionLawyer and Lecturer
Net worth18 million (2017)[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Aquilino Martin de la Llana Pimentel III was born on January 20, 1964 in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.[6][7] His parents are Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and Lourdes de la Llana-Pimentel. His father was a lawyer and dean of law at Xavier University at the time of his birth. The elder Pimentel eventually became a senator.[7]

Pimentel earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Ateneo de Manila University and his Bachelor of Laws from University of the Philippines College of Law.[6][7] He topped the 1990 Philippine Bar Examinations with a score of 89.85 percent.[8]

Early careerEdit

Pimentel began working as a lawyer in 1990, and was commissioner (representing Mindanao) on the National Youth Commission from 1995 to 1998. He was a professor for the University of the East College of Law from 2007 to 2010 and also for the MBA-JD Program of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business and Far Eastern University Institute of Law from 2006 until his election to the senate in August 2011.[6] He was conferred Doctor of Humanities honoris causa by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines on May 18, 2012.[9]

Political careerEdit

2001 electionEdit

Pimentel ran for Cagayan de Oro City mayor in the 2001 elections but lost to Vicente Emano.[10]

2007 electionEdit

Running in only his second race in the May 14, 2007 senatorial elections, Pimentel was narrowly defeated by Bukidnon Congressman Miguel Zubiri for the 12th and last slot in the Philippine Senate. The narrow margin of 18,372 votes was controversial, particularly the votes from the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao, where Pimentel had lost heavily to Zubiri.[11]

Electoral protestEdit

In Philippine senatorial elections, the twelve candidates with the highest number of votes nationwide are elected. In the 2007 elections, Pimentel (Genuine Opposition) and Juan Miguel Zubiri (TEAM Unity) contested the 12th seat.[12][13]

In the final tally for the 2007 senatorial elections by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Zubiri narrowly defeated Pimentel for the 12th and last seat in the Senate. Zubiri had a total of 11,005,866 votes against Pimentel's 10,984,347 votes.[12] On July 14, 2007, Zubiri was proclaimed as the 12th winning senator.[13]

Claiming fraudulent votes in 22 municipalities of Maguindanao, 7 in Lanao del Norte, 3 in Shariff Kabunsuan, 2 in Basilan, 2 in Sultan Kudarat, 4 in Lanao del Sur, and 4 in Sulu, Pimentel petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order against the proclamation of Zubiri. With the vote tied at 7–7, the Supreme Court dismissed Pimentel's petition. But then-Chief Justice Reynato Puno was among the seven justices who favored Pimentel's petition.[14][15]

On July 14, 2007, Pimentel filed an electoral protest to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). After finding grounds for a recount, the SET proceeded with the protest.[16]

On July 2011, former Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol and suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan revealed that there was massive election fraud during the 2007 election.[17]

On August 11, 2011, the Senate Electoral Tribunal released the final tally: Pimentel got 10,898,786 votes while Zubiri got 10,640,620.[18] Prior to this, on August 3, 2011, Zubiri resigned from the Senate; however, he reiterated that he was not involved in the 2007 electoral fraud.[19]

On August 11, 2011, Pimentel was proclaimed by the Senate Electoral Tribunal as the rightful winner of the 12th senate seat.[20] In August 12, Pimentel took his oath of office before his supporters in Mati, Davao Oriental, where he received a high number of votes.[21]

2013 electionEdit

Pimentel (top left) during President Rodrigo Duterte's 2016 State of the Nation Address.

Pimentel was included in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition's shortlist of senatorial candidates for the 2013 election. However, citing UNA's senatorial slate now having more than twelve members and the inclusion of his longtime political rival, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Pimentel officially declined his spot in the UNA coalition on June 28, 2012.[22] Instead, Pimentel ran under the Team PNoy coalition, composed mostly of supporters of then-President Benigno Aquino III.[23] Pimentel was elected to the Senate of the Philippines, placing eighth with 14,725,114 votes.[24]

Senate President (2016–2018)Edit

On July 25, 2016, the opening day of the 17th Congress of the Philippines, Pimentel was elected as Senate President with 20 out of 23 senators voting in his favor.[25] He, along with his father Aquilino Pimentel Jr., is the only father-and-son tandem being elected as Senate President in Philippine History (the elder Pimentel served as Senate President from November 13, 2000 to July 23, 2001).[26] Pimentel resigned on May 21, 2018, in order to focus on his reelection bid in the 2019 and is succeeded by Majority Leader Tito Sotto.

Personal lifeEdit

In January 2000, Pimentel married 1998 Miss Universe Philippines Jewel May Lobaton, with whom he has two sons.[27] Lobaton is a distant cousin of Juan Miguel Zubiri, who happens to be Pimentel's political rival.[28] Pimentel and Lobaton have been living separately since November 2011.[29] They officially separated in May 2012.[30]

In May 2013, Pimentel met chef Kathryna Yu, and they married in October 2018 at the Coconut Palace. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio officiated the wedding, while President Rodrigo Duterte, Secretary Bong Go, Senate President Tito Sotto, Senator Manny Pacquiao and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez were principal sponsors. Yu currently heads PDP Cares, the humanitarian arm of PDP-Laban.[31][32][30]

His sister, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana was appointed in 2015 as a commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights.[33]


  1. ^ Ager, Maila (May 17, 2018). "Cynthia Villar remains richest senator". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Lardizabal. C. (July 26, 2016). Koko Pimentel elected as Senate President of 17th Congress. CNN Philippines.
  3. ^ Pimentel elected as Senate president. (July 25, 2016). The Philippine Star.
  4. ^ Quismundo, T. (July 26, 2016). The son also rises: Koko Pimentel makes history. Philippine Daily Inquirer
  5. ^ Pimentel proclaimed as senator. (August 4, 2011). Retrieved on 2011-08-12.
  6. ^ a b c About Koko.
  7. ^ a b c Bio Data. The Official Website of Senator Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr.
  8. ^ Bar Topnotchers 1989-1992. ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library.
  9. ^ Commencement Address of Senator Koko Pimentel for Polytechnic University of the Philippines May 18, 2012
  10. ^ MACARAIG, AYEE. "Aquilino Martin 'Koko' Pimentel III: 'It's complicated' (September 30, 2012)". Rappler. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  11. ^ Zubiri proclaimed 12th Senator Archived July 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 12, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Pacheco, Marieton (March 14, 2008). "Zubiri: SC ruling on Pimentel bid seals case". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Legaspi, Amita (July 12, 2007). "Without TRO, Zubiri proclaimed 12th senator on Saturday". GMA News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  14. ^ SC paves way for Zubiri proclamation. Retrieved on August 12, 2011.
  15. ^ Mendez, Christina (August 7, 2007). "Pimentel inhibits self from son's election protest". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  16. ^ Linda Jumilla Tribunal finds basis to proceed with Koko 2007 elections protest. abs-cbnnews. June 19, 2008
  17. ^ Jumilla, Lynda (July 14, 2011). "Hope comes alive for Koko Pimentel". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  18. ^ Calonzo, Andreo (August 11, 2011). "Pimentel proclaimed 12th winning senator in '07 polls". GMA News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Ager, Maila (August 3, 2011). "Zubiri resigns amid poll fraud scandal". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Koko Pimentel officially proclaimed senator, Yahoo! Philippines News, August 11, 2011, retrieved August 11, 2011
  21. ^ Merueñas, Mark (August 12, 2011). "Koko Pimentel takes oath as senator". GMA News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Pedrasa, Ira (June 28, 2012). "It's final: Koko won't run under UNA". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  23. ^ "Drilon's 12-0 agenda is for his own dreams - UNA". ABS-CBN News. February 24, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  24. ^ Bacani, Louis (June 6, 2013). "Comelec releases final, official vote tally for Senate polls". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Ager, Maila. "Koko Pimentel takes Senate presidency by 20-3 vote". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  26. ^ Elemia, Camille. "1st in PH history: Father, son elected Senate President (July 28, 2016)". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  27. ^ Macairan, E. (2013, August 14). Koko’s wife eyes 'abuse' raps. The Philippine Star.
  28. ^ Macaraig, Ayee (March 16, 2013). "Migz on Koko wife: I have witnesses". Rappler. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  29. ^ Esguerra, C. V. & Ager, M. (2012, May 23). It's official: Koko Pimentel, wife part ways. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  30. ^ a b RG Cruz (October 18, 2018). Koko Pimentel weds chef Kathryna Yu. ABS-CBN News.
  31. ^ Elemia, C. (December 20, 2017). Meet Pimentel's 'life partner' leading PDP-Laban's humanitarian arm. Rappler.
  32. ^ Elemia, C. (October 18, 2018). Ninong Duterte in Koko Pimentel, Kathryna Yu wedding. Rappler.
  33. ^ "PNoy appoints former LP exec as new CHR chair". GMA News. June 18, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2017.

External linksEdit