ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The Filipino government: divorce law before Easter

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Couples for Christ

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The Government of the Philippines led by President Rodrigo Duterte intends to approve the bill of divorce in Parliament before Easter. As confirmed by Senate spokesperson Pantaleon Alvarez, a final version of the bill will be in parliament for the third and last reading on March 23.
The bill has the title "Act on the divorce and dissolution of marriage" and would complement the proposals presented in past months by several legislators in the lower House.The law aims to provide couples in crisis with a legal way to end marriage.
As Fides learns, parlamentarians Edcel Lagman, vice-president Pia Cayetano and Emmie de Jesus are among the supporters of the law and are pushing to promote the approval of the legislation. "Marriage, even if it is proclaimed by the Church as an inviolable institution can in some cases come to an end due to human weakness", said Lagman. "Some marriages are already irreparably shattered, even if the state strives to protect and preserve marriage", he said. According to a recent survey, 53% of respondents support a law that legalizes divorce, while 32% say they are against and 15% still undecided.
The Filipino Church, is showing strong opposition to the bill. Associations and lay Catholic movements have signed a joint letter in which it highlights that "the Philippine Constitution recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution, which is the foundation of the family and must be protected by the State".
"In fact, the Philippine Constitution is universally presented as a pro-family Constitution", say to Agenzia Fides Oca Oblefias, Ansel Beluso and Xavier Padilla of the "Couples for Christ" association. "Marriage is a sacrament, which gives couples virtues and happiness. When there are trials and difficulties we accompany couples and families towards reconciliation and healing", they say, recalling that "in particular children deserve a home where love, fidelity and forgiveness reign". Guillermo and Zenaida Mallillin, a Catholic couple of the "Servants for Family Empowerment" association note: "Science and human experience tell us that marriage is good for society, which helps to create a better, compassionate, stable and dynamic society. The objective of the common good of our Constitution requires all this". (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2018)