The senatorial candidates of Sen. Grace Poe do not favor divorce but they vowed to support bills that will speed up and reduce the cost of annulment.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, former Labor Undersecretary Susan Ople, Valenzuela
City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri made the stand during The Rundown: A Senatorial forum held in UP Diliman on Friday.
Colmenares said his pending bill in Congress already addresses loopholes in existing laws by automatically classifying spousal violence, infidelity and abandonment for one year as a psychological incapacity—a ground for annulment of marriage.
“When you are being physically abused by your husband, you don’t need a psychologist to prove that. It would be worse if such kind of marriage won’t be dissolved,” Colmenares said.
Ople, who had her marriage annulled in 1999, agreed that existing laws are too tedious and exasperating.
“The annulment is one of the most painful experiences in my life. I have spent P100,000 for that, and while I felt relief when it was finally granted, I also felt sad. I don’t want other women experiencing the same,” she said.
Romulo and Zubiri, who are both married, are also for a speedy annulment.
“Divorce is just breaking up a marriage for any reason. We should amend our laws on annulment to provide relief for the battered wives,” Romulo, who is married to former tv host Shalani Soledad, pointed out.
“I don’t believe in divorce. My parents were aged 19 and 21 when they got married, and they fought a lot. But they worked on it and they have been married for 53 years. I am all for speeding up the process of annulment, but not divorce because divorce result in dysfunctional policies,” Zubiri added.
Only Lorna Kapunan favored divorce—a stand that drew cheers from the crowd. Llanesca T. Panti
“We should stop implementing double standards. Why do we allow men to have so many sweethearts? Not a lot of people understand psychological incapacity. I am for no fault divorce,” Kapunan said.
“Men like to have their cake and eat it too. These mistresses are the eat it too part and we should not allow that,” she added.