‘Merciful liberation’: solon files divorce bill
ALBAY Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday filed a bill to allow absolute divorce in the country, which he said is “a merciful liberation of the hapless wife from a long-dead marriage.”
Lagman, the principal author of the Reproductive Health Law, filed House Bill No. 116 on the first day of the Duterte administration.
A statement from his office said Lagman “leads the campaign in the 17th Congress for the enactment of a law on absolute divorce.”
“Most marriages are supposed to be solemnized in heaven, the reality is many marriages plummet into hell—in irremediable breakdown, spousal abuse, marital infidelity and psychological incapacity, among others, which bedevil marriages,” Lagman said.
The grounds of absolute divorce bill also include the grounds for legal separation and annulment of marriage.
House Bill No. 116 provides the following additional grounds for absolute divorce:
When either of the spouses secures a valid foreign divorce; canonical divorce, or gender reassignment surgery, and
When irreconcilable differences or conflicts exist between the married couple which are beyond redemption despite earnest and repeated efforts at reconciliation.
Lagman described the bill as a “prowoman legislation,” noting the following:
Traditionally, in a marriage relation, the husband is more ascendant than the wife. It is the woman who is usually brutalized and it is the man who philanders and gets away with it.
Under these foreboding and unequal circumstances, a wife needs an absolute divorce more than the husband.
In divorce proceedings, the wife as the innocent spouse, needs a court-decreed alimony and support for the child or children under her custody.
Absolute divorce is not only a women’s issue. It is a poor women’s issue. Poor women cannot afford the current exorbitant expense for legal separation or annulment of marriage.
The Philippines and the Vatican are the only two states in the world without a divorce law. The Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, is a city-state.