By Minka Tiangco
Should divorce be institutionalized in the country, couples must undergo a rigid process before being allowed to separate, said Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
Go, a neophyte senator, said he agreed with Senate President Vicente Sotto III that the word “divorce” was “unacceptable,” and that he preferred the use of the term “dissolution of marriage.”
“Hindi po ako papayag na magpapa-divorce o dissolution of marriage eh ganon nalang basta-basta na para ka lang bibili ng candy sa tindahan (I will not allow the institutionalizing of divorce or dissolution of marriage if it would be as easy as buying candies from a store),” he said in an ambush interview in Valenzuela City Friday.
“Kung pumayag man tayo na magkaroon ng dissolution of marriage or divorce, dadaan po sa proseso, kung talaga pong hindi na magkasundo ang magulang at hindi na po healthy ang kanilang pagsasama at mas makakasama pa sa pamilya na magsama pa ang dalawang magulang (If we sign the dissolution of marriage or divorce bills into law, the couples will have to undergo a process to see if they can no longer get along, if their relationship is no longer healthy, and if staying together would be bad for the family),” he added.
Go expressed concern that the ones who would be most affected, should the bill be passed, will be the children. He then appealed to couples seeking divorce to give their relationship another chance for the sake of their kids.
“Bigyan po natin ng pagkakataon ang pamilya, para sa kapakanan ng mga anak natin, kung gustong magkabalikan, pagkakataon na magsama muli. Kawawa talaga ‘yung mga bata (Let us give families the chance, for the sake of our children, to get back together again. It would be a pity for the children if the divorce pushes through),” he said.
The senator also said he will not allow those with “shallow reasons” to get divorced.
“Hindi po ako papayag kung mababaw lang ang rason. Ayoko po na tulad sa ibang bansa na basta-basta lang nakikipag-divorce (I will not allow divorce to happen if it’s because of shallow reasons. I don’t want us to be like those living in other countries who get divorced without a care),” he added.
Currently, senators are gearing for a “historic fight” for the passage or junking of the measure.
Senator Risa Hontiveros said her office was consolidating the different versions of the bill submitted by major divorce advocacy groups, setting committee hearings, and talking to colleagues who support the divorce bill.
Senator Pia Cayetano also filed her own version of the bill at the House of Representatives during the 17th Congress.
However, some church officials and senators like Senators Joel Villanueva have opposed the measure, while others like Sotto and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri are looking at strengthening the present process of annulment instead.