Lawmakers reject divorce

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Administration and opposition lawmakers have thumbed down the passage of a divorce bill despite the result of a recent Social Weather Stations survey showing that 60 percent of Filipinos believe that couples with irreconcilable differences should be legally allowed to separate.

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Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. of Quezon City and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Monday expressed strong objection to divorce, vowing that no such law will be passed under their term.

“The proposal to legalize divorce will not pass under my watch. Marriage should be saved so the children are properly guided,” Belmonte stressed.

“It’s (marriage) is a [lifetime]contract, so any contract should be respected and there are conditions for which each party has to abide. It is better to keep and take care of it instead of allowing somebody to get out of it so easily,” Romualdez, a lawyer, said.

There is a pending divorce bill at the House of Representatives. House Bill 4408, authored by Gabriela Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luz llagan, allows couples to file a petition for divorce provided that the petitioner has been separated de facto from his or her spouse for at least five years and reconciliation is highly improbable; the petitioner has been legally separated for at least two years at the time of the filing of the petition; when the spouses suffer from irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage and when one or both spouses are psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.

Under existing laws, unhappy couple can only resort to legal separation and annulment. Legal separation dissolves the union but does not allow the separated couples to remarry while an annulment nullifies a marriage based on very limited grounds and is expensive.

“The sanctity of marriage is not based on the number of marriages existing but on the quality of marital relationships. When a marriage is no longer viable, divorce should be an option,” Ilagan said.

But Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong City said the divorce measure, which was refiled in the 16th Congress, will not gain any support because most of the lawmakers are married.

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9 Comments

  1. Pete Gabriel on

    Are these legislators brain dead to oppose divorce? This is just too much government interference on peoples lives, and just another catholic church doctrine extension on the Filipino family life. When two people that are no longer in love and forced by the government to stay together under one roof for the sake of the children, are living in a fairy tale. There will be too much tension, hostility, arguments, fighting and even murder, and this is supposed to be a healthy environment for the children. I know you can’t legislate common sense, but common!

  2. Happily Married on

    I respectfully disagree with Inocent. What sense does it make to force 2 people to remain in a loveless marriage? People change, and sometimes, they no longer love each other. Doesn’t it seem humane to allow them to split up and each seek happiness on their own? It appears to me that this would eliminate the stigma of the “other woman” or “other man” being involved when the spouses don’t really even like each other anymore and would be better off without each other.

    Just my humble opinion but I believe that it is actually cruel to force spouses to stay together who would be happier apart from each other.

  3. There is also a law on the books about corruption, graft and plunder. Those laws are not enforced as heavy as the no divorce law. Doesn’t make sense does it.

    • bing madrigal on

      what is the point of getting a divorce if you can do a kris move? you know what i mean!

  4. Judy Villanueva on

    These lawmakers are hypocrites! They just don’t want to alienate the Catholic church and the Catholic vote. But look closely at their personal lives. They are the ones leading immoral lives and who do not care about hurting their poor long suffering spouses.

  5. Philippines is the only country in the world that does not have divorce laws. Many people are trapped in violent and oppressive relationships. The church has significant influence over these politicians, thus, afraid to go against them. Unless the church can provide solutions to these problems, they should not use their influence on this matter. First world countries have laws on divorce, very strict laws, which makes people rethink of getting a divorce. The Philippines can learn from that. It is the fear of the unknown that holds this politicians from deciding what is right. It’s their ego, self righteousness that gets in the way. The fact that most politicians have extramarital affairs, clouds their judgement more.

    People, especially children, who are trapped in this situations are helpless. They end up growing to be a social cancer and thus promote the cycle. Divorce, when it is rightful, is more beneficial in society.

  6. When the RH Bill was made into law, one already foresaw that it will only be a start of more lethal and immoral bills to be introduced in the legislathives group. One will be divorce, another, legal abortion, another gay marriage and so on and on. Hope the wise legislators we caution their companions that when divorce is allowed, their will be more criminal acts like illegal abortions and other fatal deeds in our country.

    • Inocent, would one think that there would be more illegal abortions due to the fact people can’t get divorced and are forced to have sex with a person they no longer love since marital rape holds no water here. It is just common sense it would be the other around.