MANILA, Philippines – A lawyer who has challenged the Reproductive Health (RH) law before the Supreme Court believes legalizing divorce in the Philippines is unconstitutional.
Atty. James Imbong, son of Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines legal counsel Jo Imbong, said a divorce law would have a tremendous effect on Philippine society by weakening marriages and families.
“As long as we have the Constitution that we have now, definitely divorce is not there to strengthen the family. The natural effect of divorce -- as the proponents say, divorce makes the life of the former wife or spouse better but the immediate effect there is the family is broken because you don’t have the natural parents,” he told ANC’s Headstart.
Imbong said not every trend outside of the Philippines should be followed. This, amid reports that aside from the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country in the world that does not have a law on divorce.
He said people in unhappy marriages can have their marriages annulled or undergo legal separation.
“Our Constitution states that the family is the foundation of our nation. I am not saying we don’t care about the wife who is battered or the children that are abused by the father, the broken marriage. There are more foundational principles that we have to preserve even if there are broken marriages,” he said.
5 grounds for divorce
In the interview, Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan said the party-list group’s push for a divorce law is a response to the clamor of many Filipino women who are seeking another legal remedy to problems with their marriages.
The party-list lawmaker said many spouses do not want their marriages annulled because one has to be declared psychologically incapacitated for the plea to be approved. She added majority of people cannot afford annulment because it is expensive.
Ilagan said other spouses also do not want legal separation because it bars them from marrying again.
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