Duterte thumbs down Alvarez’s divorce bill

Published April 18, 2018, 7:11 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Even with the presence of the bill’s number one proponent, President Duterte reiterated his stand that there should be no divorce in the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command Ceremony at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on April 18, 2018. (VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command Ceremony at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on April 18, 2018.(VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte, during the Change-of-Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, directly told House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that he is against the passage of divorce in the country.

“House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the proponent of the divorce law. I am sorry but I cannot follow your… My daughter is not happy with that. Really. She… mag-usap na lang kayo ni Sara (You and Sara should just talk),” he said.

Alvarez and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, a known administration critic, are among those who are pushing for the passage of the divorce law in the Philippines.

Last month, Malacañang said that President Duterte is against the proposed divorce law as he believes that it would be bad for children of separated couples.

“Ang sabi niya, kawawa ang mga anak at kung magkakaroon ng divorce mawawalan ng karapatang magsampa ng kaso ang mga asawa na pinabayaan ng asawa nila matapos ang divorce (He said children would be pitiful and spouses will not have the right to press charges against their partners if they fail to support their kids),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a news conference in Camarines Sur last month.

The Philippines and the Vatican are the only states where divorce remain to be outlawed. Annulments, however, are legal in the Philippines.

The proposed divorce law in the House of Representatives provides that the government shall ensure affordable court proceedings in securing an absolute divorce decree.

The bill would also prioritize overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with respect to court hearings. It will also provide for a mandatory six-month cooling off period for petitioner spouses.

Grounds for legal separation include psychological incapacity, gender reassignment surgery, irreconcilable differences and joint petition of spouses.

 
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