INTROSPECTIVE By Tony Katigbak (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 26, 2012 - 12:00am
I am in favor of a divorce law in the Philippines.
I know I may not see such a bill passed by our lawmakers in my lifetime, but I honestly see no reason why such a measure can not be voted on by Congress in the near future. After all, we are the only country other than the Vatican that does not have divorce. Even Spain and Italy and all the other Catholic countries around the world consider divorce a practical solution to a couple that can not live together their whole lives and find themselves miserable and “stuck”. In the past, we still had Malta that also did not practice divorce, but they have also recently decided it was time to face reality.
I know it seems like such a drastic change for a country like ours. And immediately when people think of divorce they think of the drive-through marriage and quickie divorces that are the trademark of such countries like the United States. The fear becomes that people will not think things through before getting married because they know they have a way out, so to speak. However, this will not be the case, because a divorce can not be obtained simply because you have decided you no longer like your spouse. There will be regulations and strict reasons for divorce that will be decided upon by the courts, so it is not a quick and easy solution that many others worry about.
It is important to at least consider this for our country. There are already close to 800 cases or so being applied for annulment or legal separation a month — most of these cases by women. We need to realize the important reasons why this is happening. A lot of it goes beyond no longer getting along. Sometimes it’s due to domestic violence, infidelity, and abandonement. Should these spouses be made to suffer for the rest of their lives when they find themselves in a situation like this? It certainly does not seem fair.
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