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Alvarez remains hopeful on divorce

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SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday said he would not give up on his push for the legalization of divorce in the country.

Alvarez is hopeful he will be able to convince President Duterte that the measure, contained in House Bill 7303, or the Absolute Divorce Bill, would contain provisions that will address problematic marriages.

“The President’s concern is appreciated. If we have to explain, especially the principal sponsors and the committee, we will [explain],” Alvarez said.

The Lower House on Monday night passed on third reading the divorce bill by a 134-57 vote. 

The passage came amid Macanañang’s announcement that the President is no longer supporting the divorce bill.

Meanwhile, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday said this measure should be studied thoroughly.

“[The] Speaker tells me there’s a difference. Hence we study if true,” said Pimentel, also president of the ruling PDP- Laban, where Duterte sits as national chairman.

The House of Representatives, dominated by allies of the Chief Executive, gave its nod to its approval, voting 133-57-2, Monday night.

Alvarez said Divorce Bill’s passage in plenary was historic as this was the first time that the proposed measure reached final plenary approval.

Once enacted into law, Alvarez and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of its principal authors, said divorce would be legalized in the Philippines

“Divorce as we know it in America is doubtful. But this new idea being introduced “dissolution of marriage should be studied,” said Pimentel.

Sen. Grace Poe echoed the view of Pimentel that divorce should also be studied thoroughly because there were only two countries in the world, including the Philippines, which does not recognize divorce.

However, she said the rights of the women and children should be a primordial concern.

“We should look how to protect a family and not only a convenient separation.”

Senator JV Ejercito said Monday the Philippines was still 80 percent Catholic and most of its people are against divorce.

“It appears that at this point in time it would be very hard for us to pass the Divorce Bill,” said Ejercito as he aired his support to Duterte’s opposition to the Divorce Bill.

Asked if he thinks the Divorce bill would be approved in the Senate, he said it would be “very difficult.”

Senators Gringo Honasan, Migs Zubiri and Joel Villanuefa also interposed their strong objections to Divorce.

Honasan, who has been married for 43 year, emphasized it was not only the children who would be placed in a disadvantageous position in case of divorce, but also the integrity of a family.


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