Legislators to pursue divorce bill next Congress-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
AUTHORS of the divorce bill pending in the House of Representatives hopes Malacañang will have a change of heart over their proposal, which could again put the Aquino administration and the Catholic Church in a warpath.
“If we come up victorious again this coming May elections, we will re-file the measure next Congress,” Gabriela party-list Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said.
Palace officials have said the divorce bill is not on the radar screen of President Benigno Aquino III.
“But have they read the bill? Before they jump into conclusions, they should read it first so that they can see the pro-low income and pro-women provision,” Ilagan said.
House Bill 1799, which Ilagan co-authored with Representative Emmi De Jesus was filed on July 27, 2010 and is still pending with the Committee on Revision of Laws.
With only nine remaining session days, however, the House of Representatives won’t likely be able to discuss the proposed divorce bill in the plenary.
Ilagan said their proposal would provide protection to battered women and their children.
If the bill is approved, couples may choose from legal separation, declaration of nullity of the marriage, annulment divorce depending on their situation, religious beliefs, cultural sensibilities, needs and emotional state.
The five grounds for divorce proposed under the measure are premised on the irreparable breakdown of the marriage and the total non-performance of marital obligations.
It provides that a petition for divorce may be filed when 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 or when the petitioner has been legally separated for at least two years at the time of the filing of the petition.
Another ground for a divorce to be granted is when the spouses suffer from irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage and when one or both spouses are psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.
“The sanctity of marriage is not based on the number of marriages existing but on the quality of marital relationships. When a marriage is no longer viable, divorce should be an option,” Ilagan said.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said that he is also in favor of the divorce bill. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)