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After having been given more than adequate and extended time to interpellate and expound on their opposition to the absolute divorce bill, the more vociferous detractors are sore losers as they continue to trample on the clear and well-accepted rule  on the reckoning of the winning votes. 

An ordinary bill like reinstituting divorce needs the approval on third reading of only at least a majority of one more affirmative (yes) vote over the negative (no) votes when there is a quorum, while the abstentions are not considered in the counting as they are neither “yes” nor “no” votes.

The majority of the entire membership of the House or the majority of the quorum is not required for the approval on third reading of a simple divorce bill.

Section 117 of Rule XVII of the Rules of the House provides: “An abstention shall not be counted as a vote. Unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or by these rules, a majority of those voting, there being a quorum, shall decide the issue”.

Whether the winning margin is 126 to 109 as initially reported or 131 to 109 as later corrected by the Office of the Secretary General does not affect the ultimate legality of the final approval of the divorce bill.

Perforce, the engrossed copy of the divorce bill must be transmitted without further delay to the Senate. This is the mandate by the House on the Secretary General. 

Whatever inconsequential correction can be reported to and acted upon by the Plenary when the Congress opens session on July 22, 2024.

It is completely baseless to assert that a “sacramental marriage” or  church wedding will not be covered by a future divorce law. A church marriage is recognized as a civilly valid marriage under the Family Code and is regulated like civil marriages by the secular laws on marriage.

It is hypocritical for the church to seek recognition of canonical dissolution of marriage, which is akin to civil divorce, and yet reject the coverage of a divorce law on church marriages which are recognized civilly.