Divorce will never be the answer to problematic unions — Rep. Villanueva
MANILA, Philippines — Absolute divorce is, and will never be, the answer to problematic unions, House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva said Wednesday.
Villanueva made the remark after the House committee on population and family relations approved the measure which seeks to legalize absolute divorce in the country.
“While I do understand the plight of marriages that have become hostile and untenable, allowing divorce is not and will never be the answer to problematic unions,” Villanueva said in a statement.
Villanueva said that legal remedies currently available such as legal separation, annulment, and declaration of nullity of marriage are “sufficient to address them.”
“The more pressing policy action right now is not the divorce bill, but government simply making existing remedies more accessible especially to the poor—by making the process cheaper and the resolution of cases faster,” Villanueva said.
The House leader added that the measure is also “against the will of God.”
“And fighting against the will of God is inviting wrath to this nation. Simply, the risks and dangers far outweigh the perceived benefits of this measure,” Villanueva said.
Moreover, Villanueva called the measure as “a short-sighted solution to problematic marriages.”
“It fails to see that offering couples ‘an expressway out of marriage’ will diminish the institution into a simplistic contractual relationship bereft of its pure meaning and call for lasting commitment. Injecting absolute divorce in the society is a sure formula for raising fatherless and motherless Filipino children,” Villanueva said.
“It will artificially manufacture reservations in the minds of future couples, who would be enabled to enter and exit marriage conveniently when their expectations are unmet. It will wreck families and spell disaster for Filipino children,” he added.
The bill details the grounds for absolute divorce which includes the following:
- separation in fact for at least five years at the time the petition for absolute divorce is filed;
- when one of the spouses undergoes a gender reassignment surgery or transitions from one sex to another;
- irreconcilable marital differences as defined in the bill;
- domestic or marital abuse;
- valid foreign divorce secured by either the alien or Filipino spouse; and;
- a marriage nullified by a recognized religious tribunal
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the authors of the measure, said absolute divorce would void the marital union of a couple and allow them to re-marry.
The bill will now be transmitted to the House plenary for further debates. — McKenzie Kinsella, trainee
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