Escudero says he will neither push for or against divorce bill

Escudero says he will neither push for or against divorce bill

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:53 PM May 23, 2024

Escudero says he will neither push for or against divorce bill

Senate President Francis Escudero speaks during the Kapihan sa Senado forum on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Noy Morcoso/

NOTE: The English translations in the article were AI-generated.

MANILA, Philippines — Despite his stand on divorce, newly-installed Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero said the chamber would decide on the matter based on conscience and personal beliefs.


Even in the past, Escudero has expressed his leaning toward the more affordable and accessible annulment in the country than divorce.


Under his new leadership, however, he expects the Senate to vote on the proposed measure based on conscience and personal beliefs.

“Ang posisyon ko dito sa divorce ay conscience at personal vote ito,” the new Senate chief said during Thursday’s Kapihan sa Senado.

(My position on divorce is that it’s a matter of conscience and a personal vote)

READ: 5 senators oppose divorce in PH

“Walang party, walang majority, walang minority stand dito. Personal na desisyon base sa kani-kanilang paniniwala at relihiyon ang mangyayari dyan kada senador,”  he said.


(There’s no party, no majority, no minority stand on this. It’s a personal decision based on each senator’s beliefs and religion.)

“At bilang tagapangulo ng Senado, wala akong balak dumiin pabor o kontra dito,” Escudero stressed.

(And as the Senate President, I have no intention of leaning in favor or against this.)

He insisted that making annulment more affordable and accessible is still a better choice than allowing divorce as approved by the House of Representatives, believing that this could be done by letting the Public Attorney’s Office handle marriage annulment cases.

“At pangatlo, at mas maliwanag, i-define ng Kongreso kung anu-ano ang makokonsider na psychological incapacity,” he said.

(And thirdly, and clearer, Congress should define what constitutes psychological incapacity)

Escudero admitted, however, that he has yet to read the House approved version of the divorce bill.

“Malawak ang spectrum ng definition ng divorce,” he stressed.

(The spectrum of the definition of divorce is broad.)

On Wednesday, the House said 126 members voted to approve the proposed law on divroce while 109 voted against it as 20 abstained from voting.

The following day, however, the House clarified that 131 voted in favor of the measure after former Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto questioned its approval.

According to Sotto, the divorce bill did not get the required approval vote based on parliamentary rules that a majority of the quorum is needed to pass a bill.

A simple majority would have been 127 or 128 of the 255 House members present during the voting.

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While respecting the parliamentary courtesy, Escudero said the issue raised against the House voting may be used as a basis by critics to question the measure’s passage.

In the upper chamber, the Senate committee on women already approved a counterpart divorce bill but it has yet to be reported out to the Senate plenary.

TAGS: Chiz Escudero, Divorce bill

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