3 Senators Say No To Divorce, Yes To Affordable Cancellation GMA News Online

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At least three senators on Thursday expressed their opposition to the introduction of divorce in the Philippines after the approval of a bill in its favor at the committee level of the House of Representatives.

Senators Francis Escudero, Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian have said they want to change the annulment law to make it more affordable and accessible to the people.

Escudero said he was “in favor of making the existing cancellation process under the Civil Code and the Family Code more affordable and accessible instead of expanding the grounds provided therein through a new law on divorced”.

For his part, Villanueva, son of evangelist Eddie Villanueva, said he was firmly opposed to divorce. “Instead, I am pushing for the country’s cancellation laws to be simplified and not anti-poor,” he said.

In a Senate information forum, Gatchalian said he does not believe in “driving divorce” as in the United States, as the process of separating the married couple should be based on compelling reasons such as abuse and violence.

He said the cancellation law should be changed to make it more affordable.

“What we need is a clear and reasonable process for our constituents to follow, dahil ang proseso ngayon napakamahal,” Gatchailian said, adding that women and children should be given greater protection in the law on cancellation.

“Ang kawawa dito ang kababaihan and mga bata,” he said. “I think we need to look at the angle of protecting women and giving them a new lease of life.”

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, meanwhile, has said he is not inclined to table a divorce bill in the Senate.

“Definitely not me,” he said in a text message to GMA News Online when asked if he thought a similar bill would be tabled in the Senate.

The House Population and Family Relations Committee on Wednesday approved the replacement bill with a new draft title providing for absolute divorce and marriage dissolution in the Philippines.

The bill provides for the institution of “absolute marriage” by judicial decree after a conjugal union or a marriage that has broken down irreparably.

This means that once the divorce becomes effective, the marriage bonds will be severed and the ex-spouses will have the right to marry another person by a civil or religious ceremony. —KBK, GMA News


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