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‘Dissolution of marriage bill will protect marriages, not destroy them’ – Manila Bulletin

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday, July 11, said she is prepared to cross party lines to ensure the passage into law of the measure seeking to legalize divorce in the Philippines. 

Sen. Risa Hontiveros
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Hontiveros made the assurance after neophyte Sen. Robin Padilla expressed his readiness to defend the divorce bill, and reiterated his favoring divorce in the Philippines does not mean he is anti-family. 

As the chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality in the 19th Congress, Hontiveros said she is ready to work with other senators who have a similar advocacy with her in protecting women and families.

“As in the past six years, I am always able to cross party lines and unite with other senators to push important laws,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

Hontiveros has filed a similar version of the bill in the 19th Congress. As soon as she the measures on divorce have been filed and referred to her committee, Hontiveros said she will immediately call for a hearing.

She also said the panel can include the records of the hearings and the committee report regarding the divorce bill during the 18th Congress to expedite the proceedings. 

“The dissolution of marriage is an urgent reform measure for so many Filipinos stuck in irreparably broken or abusive relationships,” Hontiveros pointed out.

She also said the dissolution of marriage bill “will protect marriages, not destroy them.”

“To be clear, it will not affect the sacrament of marriage as observed by many religions. The law only affects marriage as a legal relationship creating obligations between spouses,” she said.

“It will have no impact on healthy marriages—it only serves to help those stuck in unions that have become irreparably toxic, broken or abusive,” added the senator. 

More importantly, Hontiveros said the bill does not violate the 1987 Constitution and there is no constitutional ban on having divorce or dissolution of marriage in the country.

“Umaasa tayo na may mas magandang tsansa ang pagsusulong ng dissolution of marriage bill sa ilalim ng  bagong 19th Congress…Umaasa ako na uusad ang panukalang batas na ito, (We are hopeful that the dissolution of marriage bill will have a good chance of passing in the 19th Congress…I am hoping that this bill will advance further), one step at a time,” Hontiveros said. 

 

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