Duterte rejects divorce ‘for sake of kids,’ slams door on abortion
DAVAO CITY — Presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has said he is not in favor of divorce – even of a Filipino-style divorce – and that abortion, for him, is a “no-no.”
Duterte issued the statement even if Mindanao women leaders, many of them favoring divorce, came to the open over the weekend to support his presidential bid, hoping to win him over to their side.
Duterte, who was guest at the launching of the new College of Law at the Jose Maria College owned by the mayor’s close friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, said divorce would totally tear apart the Filipino family.
“In legal separation, there’s still hope for the husband and wife to come together but not in divorce,” Duterte said. “You don’t have to love your wife to live together,” he said. “I’m not in favor of divorce for the sake of the children and abortion, for me, is a no-no.”
“Maybe, there needs to be refinements of the law but to completely cut off the family, mahirap na (that would spell trouble),” Duterte said.
On Saturday, Mindanao women leaders who called themselves Forum of Women for Action with Rody Duterte (Forward) Women, openly declared their support to the mayor’s presidential bid.
In a statement, the women said like other presidential candidates, Duterte was not perfect, but he was the only presidential aspirant, who could “carry the women agenda,” listing down the numerous “pro-women” local legislation and policies implemented by Duterte in Davao City during his terms as mayor. These include the enactment of the Women’s Development Code (WDC), the first ever done by a local government in the country; the establishment of the country’s first child-minding center, where mothers working with the city government can leave their babies and toddlers so that they don’t get separated with them even at work; the 24-hour Gender Sensitive Crisis Intervention Unit, a one-stop-shop desk serving women and children victims of violence; and an ordinance creating the Women’s Health Clinic run by the City Health Office and the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) to attend to all the reproductive health needs of women.
The women also cited the resolution declaring October 5 as a “No Prostitution Day,” strongly condemning prostitution as a job and a form of abuse against women. Davao City has also an AIDS ordinance mandating the city to spearhead the campaign against HIV and a resolution declaring all cases of violence against women and children as an emergency case, hence, placing it along other emergency cases to be immediately attended to by the Central 911.
Duterte, however, reiterated what he told Forward Women on Saturday: that he would pour in more government funds for education, health and agriculture, the three concerns on top of the women’s agenda, in case he won as president.
Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luz Ilagan, who actively pushed for the country’s divorce bill in Congress, said that Forward Women handed over to Duterte the women’s agenda, which included their concerns on peace in Mindanao, housing, health and other pieces of legislations.
“But the women also wanted to push for the divorce bill — to have our divorce, Filipino-style and the mayor has expressed openness to it,” Ilagan said, adding that most of Duterte’s “womanizing stance” have been media-hype, but the group has not been short in their advice to the mayor when some of his acts in public tended to hurt women. SFM