Manila, Philippines – The ‘Absolute Divorce’ bill has been filed by Risa Hontiveros in the Senate though Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not very keen on it. The Senate Bill 2134 or ‘Divorce Act of 2018’ suggests that married couples can file for legal separation under the circumstances that one has been a victim of ‘physical violence and grossly abusive conduct by her spouse. Hontiveros said that not having a divorce law in the country has forced women in abusive relationships to stay in marriage because they are obligated to even if they are suffering.
Giving women the benefit of freedom from abusive marriages can improve their wellbeing and hugely impact in a good way their lives. The grounds for the divorce are ‘irreconcilable marital differences, marital r**e, and separation for at least 5 years. Hontiveros states that one of the reasons for the proposed Bill is because children who witness a***e in the marriage of their parents have a bad result to their formative and even in adult years.
A Php200,000 fine and 5 year imprisonment will be ordered for the spouse ‘found by the court to have used his or her force or resorted to fraud to compel the other party to file a petition’, included in the Bill. This Bill is still set to be discussed on the committee level. Former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, has given a go signal for third and final reading for the divorce and dissolution of marriage in March 2018 at the House of Representatives.
President Duterte however is not happy with this Bill. He said that his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte ‘is not happy with it’. The Senate Bill, if finalized and approved by President Duterte will become a Law that everyone must abide to. What are your thoughts on this?