Gabriela pushes for divorce bill in PH

( Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan announced that the House of Representatives will discuss House Bill 1799, also known as Divorce Bill of the Philippines today, June 1, reports ABS-CBN News. The announcement was made hours after Malta voted to legalize divorce on Sunday.


According to the report, Ilagan said she also supports the idea of a non-binding referendum like the one Malta had. "We have to face the reality that there are good and bad marriages," she said in an interview at ANC’s Headstart with Karen Davila. "It would be un-Christian, uncharitable and even going against the law of God if you continue to be in a relationship where you continually beat another person or where you are sexually unfaithful."


Ilagan’s bill enumerates the grounds for divorce as: legal separation for at least five years, legal separation for at least two years since filing for divorce, falling under the conditions of separation (infidelity, abandonment, violence) and psychological incapacity to perform marital obligations.



"The Philippines has always been ready (for divorce)," Ilagan said, explaining that there was divorce even during the Spanish period. Ilagan’s is the first of two divorce measures in Congress. The second, filed last March, was authored by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and seeks to recognize divorces granted overseas.


Ilagan, a staunch supporter of the Reproductive Health Bill, however, hopes that the divorce issue would not be another battle with the Catholic Church. "We don’t want it to be bloody. This is legitimate, there are valid reasons." Netizens, on the other hand, weighed in on the divorce debate and voiced varying opinions via Twitter. While numerous Twitter users welcomed the idea of legalizing divorce, other netizens opposed the proposal and maintained that having divorce as an option could prevent married couples from trying harder to make the marriage work.


For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News.


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