By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo is open to supporting a measure that would legalize divorce in the country as long as it would be accessible to the poor and it won’t violate the sanctity of marriage.
Robredo, a lawyer, said she favored the passing of the divorce bill, specifically to making amendments in Article 36 of the Family Code, which most couples invoke to get annulled on ground of “psychological incapacity.”
“Iyong divorce bill ngayon, bukas ako para doon (The divorce bill now, I’m open to that),” she said in a media interview.
The Vice President was asked about the legalization of divorce after the members of the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the proposed measure last March 19.
Voting 134-57-2, lawmakers passed the bill, which will then be transmitted to the Senate for its concurrence.
Such measure, however, has no counterpart in Senate. Both chambers should pass similar measures in order for a law to be passed.
Robredo, who was a Camarines Sur representative for one term, has already received the copy of the divorce bill, but admitted she has yet to study the proposed law.
The former Bicolana lawmaker recalled she has been supportive of the measure way back she still worked with Saligan, a non-government organization that provides legal help for the marginalized sector.
“For a long time kasama ako sa isang NGO, SALIGAN…isa iyong aming organisasyon sa mga nagsusulong noon, mainly because iyong existing kasing mga batas ngayon, hindi siya accessible sa mga kababaihan na naaabuso pero walang pambayad sa mga prosesong nire-require,” (For a long time I was with the NGO, SALIGAN…which was among those who were pushing for it mainly because our existing laws now are not accessible especially to abused women who don’t have money for the processes that are being required) she said.
Robredo said that passing divorce bill into law is something that should not be rushed so it has to be thoroughly debated once it reaches the Senate.
“Ayaw din nating mangyari na hindi na pinapahalagahan iyong kasal, hindi na pinapahalagahan iyong pagsasama, kasi madali nang makahanap ng divorce, (We don’t want to happen that people will no longer value marriage, take relationships for granted, because they can easily avail of divorce)” she noted.