Here it comes. A bill legalizing divorce has been filed. PNoy once again gives doublespeak. But expect him to support such a bill. Kris certainly will. This is what RH leads to — breakdown of marriage and the family. God save the Philippines!
PNoy favors remarriage, ‘in effect supports divorce’
CANDICE MONTENEGRO, GMANews.TV
08/20/2010 | 06:33 PM
(Updated 12:26 am Aug. 21) President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is “in effect supporting divorce” when he said that legally separated couples should be allowed to remarry, according to the leader of a feminist group.
The President made the statement as his youngest sister Kris Aquino was in the midst of a messy separation from her husband James Yap.
Beth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, said the president’s suggestion about remarriage is not possible under the Family Code provision on Legal Separation.
Aquino on Thursday said that “divorce is a no-no,” adding that he cannot support “something like they do in Las Vegas” where “you get married in the morning [and] you get divorced in the afternoon.”
The President made the remark after Gabriela party-list Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus filed House Bill 1799 or “An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines.”
Aquino went on to say that he recognizes that some unions cannot last, and for such cases legally separated couples should be allowed to remarry.
“Legal separation, it will be very, very stringent, you really have to ascertain that there really are irreconcilable differences. Sa Tagalog parang padaanin sa butas siguro ng karayom. At the end of the day, they should be allowed to remarry. Ok lang yun,” he said.
According to Angsioco, “that’s tantamount to divorce.”
She explained that under present laws, legal separation does not permit remarriage. “If I were to interpret what he said and if he’s fully knowledgeable of the law, [his statement means] he would support amending the present law and allowing those who are legally separated to get married, and that’s tantamount to divorce.”
Angsioco said the only difference between legal separation and divorce is the fact that legal separation does not dissolve the marriage. Although living apart, the couple remains married and therefore cannot get married again. Divorce, on the other hand, invalidates the marriage and allows the separated man and woman to remarry.
“In effect, he supports divorce,” Angsioco said about Aquino’s “confused” statement.
Section 1 of Article 63 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides: “The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed.”
Divorce, legal separation have similar grounds
Gabriela partylist Rep. Luz Ilagan, who filed House Bill 1799, expressed her dismay over the president’s statement on divorce.
“We are disappointed. If he has read and studied the bill, he would not compare it to a Las Vegas divorce model,” Ilagan said in a press statement. “House Bill 1799 was carefully crafted to take into consideration Philippine values and traditions that give utmost importance to the way Filipinos appreciate the family as an institution. It will not allow couples to get married today and get divorced tomorrow.”
Angsioco added that like legal separation, divorce has grounds that need to be fulfilled before a petition can be filed.
“It’s clear in the bill that the couple has to be separated de facto for at least five years [at the time of the filing of the petition],” she said. “Hindi iyon basta-basta at mabilisan.”
Other grounds in the bill for filing a petition for divorce are:
When the petitioner has been legally separated from his or her spouse for at least two years at the time of the filing of the petition and reconciliation is highly improbable;
When the spouses suffer from irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage;
When one or both spouses are psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations; and
Any of the grounds for legal separation that has caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
“If [Aquino] studied the bill, [he would know] that remarrying in legal separation cannot happen. It seems to me that the president does not fully know the law that we have at present,” Angsioco said.
‘Give Aquino suggestion a chance’
On the other hand, Senator Pia Cayetano on Friday asked critics to give a chance to President Aquino’s suggestion to allow legally separated couples to remarry instead of divorcing.
Cayetano, chairman of the Senate committee on youth, women and family relations, said that people should not “second-guess” Aquino based on his statement suggesting remarriage after legal separation instead of divorce.
“PNoy’s openness to a strengthened legal separation law should prompt lawmakers to start the healthy debates, instead of totally shutting the door on this issue,” she said.
Under the law, legal separation does not end the marriage, making it illegal for parties to remarry.
The senator thus suggested that amendments be made on the Family Code so that they can come up with a “Pinoy-style” separation that is more “suited” and “acceptable” to Filipino culture and society.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, for his part, suggested that Congress just “strengthen” the current annulment process in the country. Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano are brother and sister.
“That (problem) can be addressed by strengthening the remedy of annulment by psychological incapacity,” he said during a press conference on Friday.
He likewise said that pushing for divorce or remarriage after separation will “do more harm than good.”
So far, no similar divorce bill has been filed at the Senate.–with report by Kimberly Jane Tan/JV, JE, HS, GMANews.TV