To protect and not destroy the Filipino family. This is the goal of the bill filed by Sen. Robin Padilla to legalize divorce in the Philippines.
Padilla said that while he favors marriages to last forever, the sad reality is that there are marriages that are doomed because of irreconcilable differences.
“Hindi po ito kailanman na sumasalungat sa pag-aasawa. Hindi ito isang bagay na kami ay kontra na magkaroon ng forever. Katunayan, ito pong panukalang ito ay nagbibigay ng proteksyon unang una sa mag-asawa – babae at lalaki at sa kanilang mga magiging anak (My bill is never meant to destroy marriages. We would never object to marriages that last forever. In fact, my bill aims to protect the marriage – including the woman, the man, and their children),” Padilla said on his Facebook Live with his legal staff on Sunday morning.
“Sabi nga po nila, baka raw itong panukala ang sisira sa kasal. Ay, hindi po! Itong panukalang ito ang nagbibigay proteksyon sa kasal na masakit man sabihin ay sira na (There are those who claim this bill seeks to destroy marriage. That is not true! This bill aims to protect the parties in a marriage that is sadly doomed),” he added.
“Wala tayong sinisirang pamilya. Pinroproteksyunan natin ang hindi magkasundo (We are not destroying the family but protecting it if the marriage is doomed by irreconcilable differences),” diin ni Padilla.
Padilla noted the Philippines is the currently the only state in the world aside from Vatican City that does not recognize divorce – yet, a 2017 Social Weather Stations survey showed 53% of Filipinos favor divorce for couples with irreconcilable differences.
He added that while the Philippines allows annulment, this is a very costly process. “Paano kung walang pera (What if the couple does not have money)?” he asked.
Also, Padilla stressed the need to protect women who after separating from their husbands find a new partner – as they are subjected to unfair rumors while the children they will have with their new partners are considered “bastards.” “Unfair eh,” he said.
Under Padilla’s bill, a petition may be filed for divorce if:
* The husband or wife cannot fulfill his/her obligation in the marriage;
* Both parties in the marriage have irreconcilable differences;
* The marriage was annulled abroad;
* The husband or wife is presumed dead in accordance with Articles 390 and 391 of the Civil Code of the Philippines;
* A party is convicted of violating the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act”;
* There is an attempt on the life of the child of the couple or of the petitioner;
* Having children outside the marriage except if both agree to have a child through IVF or similar prodedure; or if the woman bears a child after being raped;
* There are grounds for annulling the marriage based on the Family Code of the Philippines;
* Repeated abuses against the petitioner or his/her child;
* Both parties have been living separately for two years at the time the petition was filed; and
* The couple legally separated through a judicial decree under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines
The bill also provides for a “mandatory cooling-off period” after the petition is filed.
Meanwhile, the petition for divorce may be dismissed if the two parties submit a verified joint motion; or if the court finds evidence of collusion between them.