Quantcast
Latest Stories

Divorce? No way, stresses Malacañang

By

President Benigno Aquino III will not touch the divorce question with a 10-foot pole.

Divorce is not just low on the Aquino administration radar, it is not on its radar screen at all, Palace officials have stressed repeatedly.

Apparently wanting to avoid a potential collision course with the Catholic Church, Malacañang on Saturday dismissed proposals to introduce divorce legislation in the country.

“Divorce is not on the radar of the administration,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told a radio interview when asked what the President’s position was on the two bills that have been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to either stop or allow divorce legislation.

Valte was categorical in saying that divorce legislation was not a priority of Mr. Aquino, who is a bachelor at 52.

Neither Mr. Aquino nor any Cabinet secretary was willing to discuss this in the Cabinet, she emphasized.

Soon after the House passed the reproductive health (RH) bill on third reading last month, to the great consternation of Church leaders, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte announced that divorce would be next on the House’s agenda.

Right on cue, House members started the spade work, filing divorce-related bills, although seemingly at cross purposes.

One of the House bills wants “any future enactment of any bill related to divorce” to be considered illegal, while the other is for amending the Family Code to accommodate a divorce provision.

The “Anti-Divorce and Unlawful Dissolution of Marriage” bill, authored by Marikina Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, seeks a “guarantee that no legislation encouraging or facilitating the dissolution of marriage and recognizing divorce shall be passed.”

At the opposite pole is the bill coauthored by party-list Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus (Gabriela), which seeks to amend the Family Code to introduce a divorce provision.

The Teodoro bill would ensure that absolute divorce remains unacceptable in the Philippines where, the bill’s author reasons, spouses in troubled marriages can always avail of legal separation.

In the explanatory note to his bill, Teodoro said the attempts to introduce a divorce law in the country “undermine the value of marriage by encouraging couples to put an end to their relationship instead of allowing them to reconcile immediately or fix the same over time.”

Ilagan and De Jesus argued in favor of divorce to give relief to people in so “many failed and unhappy marriages” who have no access to the courts and end up separating “without the benefit of legal processes.”

In this regard, party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna) has filed a bill which neither advocates for nor condemns divorce but seeks to make annulment more accessible to and less costly for the poor.

Valte reiterated that neither of the divorce bills was being talked about in the Cabinet, “so it’s not really on the radar.”

Mindful of Church leaders’ reaction after Mr. Aquino signed the RH bill into law on Dec. 21, Malacañang has stressed that the Aquino administration was not about to provoke Church leaders further by supporting divorce legislation.

“That’s not on the radar, that’s not being discussed [in the Palace],” said Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang, following Belmonte’s announcement that divorce would figure next on the House agenda.

“I think this is being discussed mostly by civil society groups and advocates, but we’ve always said that this was not something that we were thinking about at this point. And I can say that it’s really not something that the administration is contemplating” for the remainder of Mr. Aquino’s term, Carandang said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abigail Valte , Aquino Administration , Benigno Aquino III , Catholic Church , divorce , Emerenciana de Jesus , Gabriela , Luzviminda Ilagan , Marcelino Teodoro , Reproductive Health Bill , RH bill




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement