House approves divorce bill on 2nd reading

house approves divorce bill on 2nd reading

Rep. Edcel Lagman at House plenary on May 15, 2024

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a proposal for absolute divorce.

The approval was through viva voce voting or via ayes and nays.

When Tingog Partylist Representative Jude Acidre asked if absolute divorce is for spouses in unhappy marriages, Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman, who sponsored the bill, replied, “Not only unhappy marital situations but distressful situations, toxic relationships where there are valid grounds to petition for divorce. Because if there are no valid grounds, no divorce will be decreed.”

Lagman also said that divorce proceedings “will have to undergo a thorough judicial scrutiny.”

The Albay congressman added that the bill is a pro-woman measure. "In most cases, it is the wife who is the victim of a failed and toxic marriage, like for example marital abuse, marital infidelity, and marital abandonment," he said.

Lagman acknowledged that in some cases it is the husband who is the offended party. "Yes, that also happens," he said. "But the indelible data would show that wives are the aggrieved victims or parties in most cases of marital conflict.

"The purpose of this bill is to liberate the offended spouse, who is the woman in most cases, to be free from such failed marriages."

Lagman also said that the bill is "a pro-poor woman" measure. While stressing “divorce is only an option,” he added that it would be a cheaper and faster remedy than existing options such as annulment.

“This is actually cost-free in many cases. Expeditious? Yes, because under the bill, a judge is mandated to decide the petition for divorce within one year after expiration of the 60-day cooling off period,” he explained, referring to the provision in the bill of a 60-day cooling off period after spouses file the divorce petition.

Among the grounds for divorce cited in the bill are physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child or the child of the petitioner; physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation; drug addiction or habitual alcoholism or chronic gambling; and homosexuality. — BM, GMA Integrated News

This article House approves divorce bill on 2nd reading was originally published in GMA News Online.

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