Risa Hontiveros: Time to discuss divorce


05:53 PM February 14th, 2013

By: Maricar Cinco, February 14th, 2013 05:53 PM

(Editor’s Note: INQUIRER.net is reposting a Philippine Daily Inquirer story on former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros with some corrections.)

Risa Hontiveros. INQUIRER.net file photo

SAN PABLO CITY, Philippines—People should start talking about divorce in the Philippines in light of the growing number of cases of marital abuse and child beatings, former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a recent telephone interview.

“It is high time that we talk about divorce [measures, considering] the cases of wife beatings, child beatings, marital rape, and incest,” said Hontiveros, who is a known feminist-activist.

Hontiveros was interviewed by the Inquirer right after she attended a Valentine’s Day mass wedding ceremony in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The initial Inquirer story on the mass wedding and the interview erroneously stated that Hontiveros made the comments about divorce to the 450 newlyweds at Sta. Rosa.

Hontiveros issued a clarification on Twitter on Saturday, saying she did not talk about divorce at the mass wedding.

In the interview, the Inquirer asked Hontiveros what she told the newlyweds. She said she wished them “a long and lasting love.”

Her comments on divorce were in response to questions from the Inquirer about her stand on divorce and her programs if elected senator.

Hontiveros said people need to start discussing divorce but the matter of legislating divorce should be carefully studied first.

Marriage means two people “sharing everything, (including) personal achievements,” she said, adding that a family is a “microcosm” of the Philippine society.

“I believe harmonious societies start with harmonious families,” she told the Inquirer.

Hontiveros, who is running for senator under the administration’s Team PNoy, was invited as a guest at the mass wedding ceremony, a civil rite annually held on Valentine’s Day in Sta. Rosa, and sponsored by the city government. It was presided over by Sta. Rosa City Mayor Arlene Arcillas, herself an LP member and a re-electionist.

Hontiveros went to the mass wedding with senatorial candidates Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara, after which they proceeded to this city for the Team PNoy proclamation rally with President Benigno Aquino III in the afternoon.

Hontiveros, who ran but lost in the 2010 senatorial race, supported legislation for women’s rights, higher health benefits, and cheaper medicines.

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