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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

Divorce does not violate the sanctity of marriage. It is infidelity, violence, cruelty, abuse, abandonment, and deceit, among others that violate the sacredness of marriage.

Marriage is a social union or a legal contract between a husband and a wife to love, honor, support and care for each other. This union or contract is violated and broken when the love, honor, support and care are replaced with hatred, disrespect, desertion, and mistreatment – not by divorce.

I assure critics of the measure that a divorce law will not destroy marriages because divorce does not put asunder a marriage as the union has long perished. What will be before the Family Court is a cadaver of a marriage. Divorce is not the monster plaguing a marriage. It is marital unfaithfulness, abandonment, constant fighting, and brutality, among others, which are the devils that destroy marriages. Constant bickering and backbiting, lack of respect, brutality, maltreatment, unremitting lies – these destroy a family, not divorce.

For many Filipinos, their marriage is the happiest day of their lives and the beginning the dream to build a family with the love of their lives. But for some, this dream disintegrates into a nightmare from which they are unable to wake. No one enters a marriage thinking that it will not last. The alternative of ending the marriage via divorce is that last thing on a couple’s minds. 

Since marriage is a human institution, it is vulnerable to human frailties. It is the mortal blunders of spouses which degrade marital vows, not divorce which rescues spouses and their children from a house on fire.

The proposed divorce law is constitutional as the Constitution does not prevent the Congress from enacting a divorce law even as it does not offend the dogma of the Catholic Church which has its own canonical dissolution of marriage. All other Catholic and Christian countries in the world have long legitimized divorce.

Let me also clarify that the bill does not recognize no-fault, quickie, drive-thru, email or notarial divorces. There are limited and reasonable grounds for divorce under the divorce bill, and a petition will have to undergo judicial scrutiny in order to prevent abuse and collusion of the parties, which is penalized.

Even as the Constitution provides for the precepts on marriage, it allows Congress to enact an absolute divorce law in recognition of the State’s duty to allow unfortunate spouses, particularly abused wives, to regain their freedom, self-respect, agency, and happiness.