Speaker Cayetano: I’m no divorce believer but won’t block debate
CAPAS, TARLAC Philippines — In stark contrast to the advocacy of his sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano, whose marriage was annulled, Speaker Alan Cayetano believes that absolute divorce is not the solution to dysfunctional marriages.
Despite his personal stand, the House leader said he would not stop any committee from deliberating or holding hearings on controversial bills like the absolute divorce measure.
Speaker Cayetano said “we have to find a solution” to “impossible marriages” like those where one spouse beats the other or where one spouse is “psychologically incapacitated.”
“Some believe that divorce is the solution,” the Speaker said. “Some, like me, do not believe that divorces is the solution,” he said.
A possible solution to failed marriages, he added, could be to make annulment of marriage more accessible and “democratic.”
The House priority is the 2020 proposed national budget, other revenue and socio-economic bills and not controversial measures, like the divorce bill, the Speaker said.
He said on bills that enjoy a “consensus” he would “move faster.” “I will not stop but we will act with caution on bills that have no consensus,” he said.
The House leader had asked his colleagues to “act depending on their conscience” on controversial bills, like the proposal to legalize divorce. He said he would conduct a survey among House members on their positions on divorce, federalism and the death penalty.
“But we are not stopping any committee from discussing all of these bills,” the Speaker said on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian Games event here.
“I can assure you of full debates in all of these issues,” he added.
At the Senate, the Speaker’s sister, Pia, has filed Senate Bill No. 288 which seeks to legalize divorce on certain conditions. At least four similar bills had been filed at the House of Representatives.
The House had approved a divorce bill in the 17th Congress but it reached dead end at the Senate./TSB
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