MANILA (UPDATE) – A bill legalizing absolute divorce in the Philippines is heading to the plenary of the House of Representatives after being passed unanimously by the Committee on Population and Family Relations.
Under the proposal, the grounds for legal separation, marriage annulment and marriage annulment based on psychological incapacity under the Philippine Family Code are included as grounds for absolute divorce.
The other grounds for divorce included in the bill are: de facto separation for at least five years at the time of the filing of the final divorce petition; when one of the spouses undergoes a gender reassignment operation or switches from one sex to the other; irreconcilable marital difference; other forms of domestic or conjugal violence; valid foreign divorce obtained by foreign or Filipino spouse; and annulment of a marriage by a recognized religious court.
In a statement, Albay representative Edcel Lagman said the passage of the bill by the House panel marks “a momentous opportunity for countless wives, who are being beaten and abandoned, to regain their humanity. , their self-respect and freedom from irreparably failed marriages and totally dysfunctional unions. “
Lagman noted that the Speaker of the House, Lord Allan Velasco, was in favor of enacting a restored absolute divorce measure.
Representative of the Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption Party List (CIBAC) and Deputy Speaker of the House Bro. Eddie Villanueva, meanwhile, expressed dismay at the House panel’s approval of the absolute divorce bill, saying it would be “disastrous for families.”
“CIBAC strongly believes that any law which will effectively minimize the inviolability or inviolable status of the family as a social institution is directly and inherently unconstitutional and contrary to the deeply held Filipino value of preserving and striving for marriage.” The adoption of any measure that effectively cancels this constitutional mandate will promote the relentless decadence of our families. Marriage, as an inviolable commitment, would henceforth be reduced to a contractual relationship, subject to the whims of unscrupulous individuals, ”he said in a statement.
Villanueva also said that while he understands that some marriages are hostile, he still believes that divorce will never be a solution to problematic unions.
“The legal remedies available such as legal separation, annulment and declaration of nullity of the marriage are sufficient to remedy this. The most urgent political action right now is not the divorce bill, but the government is simply making existing remedies more accessible, especially to the poor. by making the process less expensive and the resolution of cases faster, “he added.
“Unfortunately, the Divorce Bill is a short-sighted solution to problematic marriages, which, in fact, can be resolved through the legal options available. relationship devoid of pure meaning and call for a lasting commitment. Injecting absolute divorce into society is a sure formula for raising Filipino children who are fatherless and motherless. It will artificially fabricate reservations in the minds of future couples, who would be allowed in and out of marriage conveniently when their expectations are not met. It will destroy families and be a disaster for Filipino children, ”Villanueva also said.
At the 17th Congress, House Bill 7303, which sought to institute absolute divorce in the country, was also submitted to the House plenary.
Last year, a House committee also approved three measures to legalize divorce in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, the only country in the world outside the Vatican where it remains illegal.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also tabled an “absolute divorce” bill in the upper house in 2019.
Filipino lawmakers have regularly introduced a bill to legalize divorce since 1999.
– with reports from RG Cruz
Divorce Law, Absolute Divorce, Philippines, Marriage, Legal Separation, House of Representatives