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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

House panel approves bill allowing divorce

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The House Committee on Population and Family Relations on Tuesday approved a bill reinstituting absolute divorce in the Philippines.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman welcomed the decision the panel chaired Rep. Ian Paul Dy of Isabela, saying it gives spouses, especially the wives, the option of getting out of an irremediably broken marriage and get a new lease on life.

Lagman said divorce is not against the Catholic faith. “Even the Bible cites instances when Jesus Christ allowed divorce. All Catholic countries, except the Philippines, have legalized divorce which the Papacy has not condemned. Even the Catholic hierarchy has its own matrimonial tribunal which dissolves marriages similar to a divorce.”

Lagman stressed that divorce is an option. An aggrieved party can seek in the proper cases annulment of marriage, legal separation or dissolution of marriage based on psychological incapacity under the Family Code, all of which are expensive and involve a lengthy process, unlike divorce which is mandated to be expeditious, reasonable, and inexpensive.

The approval of the substitute bill on absolute divorce for eventual plenary debates assures that the country is now at the threshold of joining the universality of absolute divorce in the community of nations.

The House committee’s approved bill adopted Lagman’s House Bill 78, which the congressman said is almost a replica of the bill approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives during the 17th Congress. The approval of the same bill during the 18th Congress was stalled by the pandemic.

“While it is said that marriages are solemnized in heaven, the fact is some marriages plummet into hell because of human frailty and imperfections. The Divorce Act seeks to redeem couples, particularly the abused or abandoned wives, from infernal agony,” Lagman said. “But it must be underscored that a law on absolute divorce is not for everybody. This Act is for the exceptional circumstances of married couples who are marooned in toxic, dysfunctional, and even abusive marriages, particularly for wives who suffer the torment of irreversibly dead marriages,” he added. Maricel V. Cruz


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