Gabriela refiles divorce bill

ABRIELA USA welcomes Rodrigo Duterte as the newly inaugurated 16th President of the Philippines (photo courtesy of Gabriela USA Facebook page)

ABRIELA USA welcomes Rodrigo Duterte as the newly inaugurated 16th President of the Philippines (photo courtesy of Gabriela USA Facebook page)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – Gabriela party-list is making a renewed push to legalize the dissolution of marriage under the Duterte administration.

Gabriela party-list Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas filed on Wednesday House Bill 2380 for the legalization of divorce.

De Jesus said she is hopeful that the measure will be passed in the 17th Congress because she believes a divorce law is long overdue.

“It is high time that the State gives abusive and irreparable marraiges the option to divorce. We hope that this time, both Houses of Congress will finally approve the divorce bill,” she said.

Brosas said results of a 2015 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing 3 in 5 Filipinos favor divorce only show “the de facto need for the option of divorce to be given.”

The Gabriela party-list first filed the divorce bill in the 13th Congress in 2005.

The Philippines is the only country, apart from the Vatican City State, that does not allow divorce after Malta voted “yes” in a referendum in 2011 to legalize divorce in their staunchly Catholic country.

The proposal provides for divorce to be granted if at least one of the following conditions are met:

the petitioner has been separated de facto from his or her spouse for at least five years at the time of the filing of the petition and reconciliation is highly improbable

the petitioner has been legally separated from the spouse for at least two years at the time of the filing and reconciliation is highly improbable

when any of the grounds for legal separation has caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage

when one or both spouses are psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations

when the spouses suffer from irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage

Even with laws providing for legal separation and annulment, De Jesus believes divorce should be legalized.

“Ang isang weakness ng legal separation ay hindi makakapag-move on [ang mag-asawa] dahil hindi naman pinapawalang-bisa ang kontrata ng kasal,” she said.

She said the bill takes into consideration the rudiments of the Filipino culture and the general sentiment of preserving the sanctity of Filipino marriages, which is why the measure provides that divorce is granted only when certain conditions are met.

“Ang isang kasal o pagsasama ay sagrado kung walang karahasan at pang-aabuso at nananatili ang respeto at pagmamahal. Ang pagtataguyod ng estado ng sanctity of marriage ayon sa Konstitusyon ay makikita hindi sa dami ng  mga taong ikinakasal sa ating bansa o sa bilang ng taon ng kanilang pananatili sa relasyon,” De Jesus said.(MNS)

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