By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is opposed to the passage of a bill allowing divorce in the country despite the growing support for the measure in Congress, Malacañang revealed today.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President was concerned about the adverse impact of a married couple’s divorce on the children.
“Ayaw sana niya magkomento pero since nagbotohan na naman sa Kamara, ang Presidente ay tutol sa divorce. Ang sabi niya kawawa yung mga anak (He didn’t want to comment but since the House has already voted, the President is against divorce. He said he feels sorry for the children),” Roque said during a press conference in Camarines Sur.
“Kung magkakaroon ng divorce, mawawalan ng karapatan ng magsampa ng kaso yung mga asawa na pinabayaan ng mga asawa nila matapos sila magdivorce. ‘Yan ang position niya (If there will be divorce, the abandoned spouses will lose their right to file cases against their partners after the divorce. That’s his position),” he said.
Roque admitted that the President initially refused to comment on the divorce bill pending the debate in Congress.
The House of Representatives recently passed on second reading a bill that would allow divorce and provide affordable court proceedings.
Under the bill, married couples could obtain absolute divorce for several grounds, including abuse, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences. The measure also allows the divorced spouse to marry another person either by civil or religious ceremony. It also includes provisions for the care and custody of the children.
The Catholic bishops have appealed to Congress to reconsider the approval of the divorce bill due to concerns it might only lead to more marriage breakups.
The Philippines and the Vatican are the only two countries without divorce laws.