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Senate panel OKs absolute divorce bill


The Committee Report 124 – prepared and submitted by the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality – recommended the approval of Senate Bill 2443, which defined absolute divorce as the “legal termination of a marriage by a court in a legal proceeding.”


A Senate panel has approved a consolidated measure that provides for absolute divorce based on various grounds, including five years of separation whether continuous or broken, and commission of the crime of rape before or after marriage.

The Committee Report 124 – prepared and submitted by the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality – recommended the approval of Senate Bill 2443, which defined absolute divorce as the “legal termination of a marriage by a court in a legal proceeding.”

Once divorce is granted, the status of both parties will be reverted to single for all legal intents and purposes, including the right to contract a subsequent marriage. SB 2443 is a substitution of consolidated Senate Bills 147, 213, 237, 554, 555, 1198 and 2047 on the Dissolution of Marriage Act sponsored by committee chair Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

“The state should ensure that the court proceedings for the grant of absolute divorce will be expeditious, inexpensive and affordable, particularly for indigent litigants,” the measure read. In February, the House of Representatives expressed openness to a bill that may finally pave the way for divorce, after it approved in principle a measure providing for the dissolution of marriage.

“The Philippines will soon join the rest of the world in the legalization of absolute divorce after the House committee on population and family relations approved in principle several bills on divorce and dissolution of marriage,” divorce advocate Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

A report by news agency AFP showed that the Philippines is the only state outside Vatican that outlaws divorce, with the Catholic Church opposing the practice as it is against its teachings.

Those who favor divorce say the ban makes it difficult for concerned individuals to escape violent or abusive spouses, or even for couples to amicably cut ties.


Source: Philstar

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