Senate still not inclined to vote for similar measure legalizing absolute divorce in PH

Published March 20, 2018, 4:31 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Despite the House of Representatives’ approval of the divorce bill, members of the Senate are still not inclined to vote for a similar measure legalizing absolute divorce in the country.

But Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said they are open to entertaining the dissolution of marriage, which, he said House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, raised to him.

A couple sweetly sits on a bench at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City while a black cat passes behind them where in traditional superstition, a feline that is black in color signifies the coming of an unfortunate event in the future to those who bumps into a black cat. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)
A couple sweetly sits on a bench at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City, while a black cat passes behind them. In traditional superstition, a black feline signifies the coming of an unfortunate event in the future to those who cross paths with it. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)

 

“Divorce as we know it in America, (is) doubtful. But this new idea being introduced, ‘dissolution of marriage’, should be studied. Speaker tells me there is a difference. Hence, we study if true,” Pimentel told reporters Tuesday.

The Lower Chamber last night voted to pass the controversial House Bill 7303, or the Absolute Divorce Bill.

A number of senators have earlier showed a cold shoulder on the legalization of divorce, proposing instead that annulment proceedings be simplified and made affordable.

Sen. Richard Gordon, in a separate interview after a Senate hearing today, said that for his part, the proposed divorce law would violate the 1987 Constitution.

Read more: Gordon: Passage of divorce law in the Senate not a priority

“Because it states that marriage is a social institution that the government should try and protect,” he said.

“There should have really serious reasons why they should dissolve the marriage,” he added.

Recognize church annulments, gov’t asked

Amid the debates on divorce, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, meanwhile, filed a measure proposing to recognize the civil effects of the Church-decreed annulments.

Zubiri said annulment of marriage has been “inefficient and arduous,” and can take years before being resolved.

In his Senate Bill 1745, he noted the two motu propio documents issued by Pope Francis in September 2015 to make annulment process more efficient.

Zubiri said the State should recognize the annulment of marriage granted by the church just as it recognizes the union of spouses under religious rites.

 
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