Padilla says proposed divorce bill to protect families: ‘Wala tayong sinisirang pamilya’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robin Padilla said his proposed divorce bill aims to protect families from failed marriages.
Legalizing divorce is among the top 10 priority bills that the neophyte senator filed for the 19th Congress.
“Hindi po ito kailanman na sumasalungat sa pag-aasawa. Hindi ito isang bagay na kami ay kontra na magkaroon ng forever. Katunayan, ito pong panukalang ito ay nagbibigay ng proteksyon, unang una sa mag-asawa — babae at lalaki at sa kanilang mga magiging anak,” Padilla said in a Facebook live on Sunday.
(My bill is never meant to destroy marriages. We would never object to marriages that last forever. In fact, my bill aims to protect marriage – including the woman, the man, and their children.)
“Sabi nga po nila, baka raw itong panukala ang sisira sa kasal. Ay, hindi po! Itong panukalang ito ang nagbibigay proteksyon sa kasal na — masakit man sabihin — ay sira na. Wala tayong sinisirang pamilya. Pinroproteksyunan natin ang hindi magkasundo,” he continued.
(There are those who claim this bill seeks to destroy marriage. That is not true! This bill aims to protect the parties in a marriage that is sadly doomed. We are not destroying the family but protecting it if the couple has irreconcilable differences.)
Under Padilla’s measure, a petition for divorce may be filed if:
- the husband or wife cannot fulfill his/her obligation in the marriage
- both parties in the marriage have irreconcilable differences
- the marriage was annulled abroad
- the husband or wife is presumed dead in accordance with Articles 390 and 391 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
- a party is convicted of violating the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act”
- there is an attempt on the life of the child of the couple or of the petitioner
- having children outside the marriage except if both agree to have a child through in vitro fertilization or similar procedure, or if the woman bears a child after being raped
- there are grounds for annulling the marriage based on the Family Code of the Philippines
- repeated abuses against the petitioner or his/her child
- both parties have been living separately for two years at the time the petition was filed
- the couple legally separated through a judicial decree under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines
A “cooling-off period” after lodging the petition will also be mandated.
However, the petition may be junked “if the two parties submit a verified joint motion or if the court finds evidence of collusion between them.”
While the country allows annulment, Padilla lamented that it is costly.
Citing a 2017 Social Weather Stations survey, Padilla said that 53 percent of Filipinos favor divorce for couples with irreconcilable differences.
Aside from the Vatican, the senator noted that the Philippines is the only country across the globe that does not acknowledge divorce.
Apart from Padilla, other senators that are pushing for divorce are Senators Risa Hontiveros and Raffy Tulfo.
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