SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte opened the second regular session of Congress on Monday with a pitch for divorce.
“In marriage, we do not always get it right the first time. Presently, married persons remain with each other even if the relationship is beyond repair that it causes harm to the husband, wife and the children. We have to change this,” said Alvarez, who is married but also has a girlfriend.
“I thank Representative [Pia] Cayetano [of Taguig]who will file a bill on dissolution of marriage without the need for an extensive, adversarial system. [The process should be] as long as married persons mutually agree to end their marriage, subject to the approval of the court, [marriage will be dissolved],”Alvarez, a lawyer, said.
Alvarez is married to Emelita Alvarez, but has a girlfriend identified as Jennifer Vicencio who accompanies him even on official functions.
The Family Code does not provide for divorce but allows for the declaration of annulment of marriage, meaning the marriage is null and void from the beginning.
Under Philippine laws, the grounds for annulment are:
* either party is below 18 years of age;
* marriage was solemnized by a person not legally authorized to perform marriages;
* marriage was solemnized without license;
* bigamous or polygamous marriages;
* was contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other;
* subsequent marriages that are void and either party was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage at the time of the celebration of the marriage;
* incestuous marriages;
* and marriages which are void from the beginning for reasons of public policy.
Parental neglect, physical or emotional abuse and infidelity are not included.