• Duterte leaves fate of divorce bill to Congress


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is leaving the fate of a bill seeking to allow divorce to Congress, Malacañang said on Monday.

    In a news conference, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte refused to comment when asked about his stand on divorce.

    “He [Duterte] said no comment; although he remains steadfast to be against abortion,” Roque told reporters, when asked about the position of the President, who once registered his opposition to the proposal to legalize divorce.

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte

    “He confirms he made that 2016 interview but when I asked him what’s his current stand, he said no comment. He leaves it to Congress,” he added.

    Duterte, then a presidential candidate, said in a March 2016 newspaper interview that he was not in favor of divorce for the sake of children.

    The President is not married to his partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, although his marriage with Elizabeth Zimmerman was annulled by a court in 2000.

    Last week, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Population and Family Relations passed the divorce bill, paving the way for plenary deliberations.

    Under the bill, married couples may end their marriage for several reasons, including abuse, infidelity and irreconcilable differences.

    At present, the Philippines and the Vatican are the only countries that do not allow divorce.

    A 2015 Social Weather Stations survey found that three in five Filipinos favor legalizing divorce.


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