By Jullie Y. Daza
The family is under attack, from within the family. In the last two weeks, two men in separate incidents killed their wives and children. Days ago, a so-called mother was caught pushing drugs and using her son as her runner, an example that a policewoman said was looking more and more like a trend. A heartbreaking video showed a young mother torturing her own little children by dripping candlewax on them. Day-to-day stories of cruel parents are so horrendous that you have to agree with MTRCB when it gives the news a PG rating.
Ultraconservatives fear the assault on family values will be exacerbated by the “un-Christian” proponents of a divorce law in the Philippines. If divorce had been allowed, would the two women have been saved from their husbands? Having seen and lived with the bad side of their husbands, wouldn’t they have left the father of their children long before the bloody, murderous rampage began? On the other hand, would they have had the means to divorce their husbands?
Congresspersons are optimistic the divorce bill will pass, though the sentiment is it will face rough sailing in the Senate. (Why, because senators who are happily married are the majority?) The Catholic clergy will do everything to derail the bill, but even they must have heard Pope Francis pleading for understanding and compassion for “Catholics trapped in an imperfect marriage.”
What is divorce but an instrument that frees husband and wife from their marital bond(age) and as such allows them to marry again. The freedom to marry a new spouse is all there is to it; otherwise the couple can just kill each other, file for legal separation, separation of property, civil or Church annulment. A Church annulment is, in effect, Church-sanctioned divorce. Without a Church annulment, a purely civil annulment where the ex-Mr. and Mrs. have married new partners means four people “living in sin,” even if the two couples are no longer bigamous in the eyes of the state.
Rep. Yedda Romualdez may have found the answer to the dilemma. Her bill to “recognize the civil effects of Church-decreed annulment” has been approved on third and final reading by an impressive 203 votes. How come nobody’s making noises about this compromise bill?