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Divorce, yes — but provide safeguards

04:02 AM February 17, 2020

A bill instituting divorce in the Philippines has recently been approved by the House of Representatives.

I beseech our legislators to seriously consider that, while it is true that some need to be saved from a hopelessly broken marriage, the proposed law should provide spouses not just an easy way out of a marriage they should, in the very first place, exert every effort to save.

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Otherwise, the law will only exacerbate the problem of broken marriages and weaken the solidarity of the family, contrary to what our Constitution mandates.

Parties who come to court with less-than-clean hands cannot be allowed to profit from their own wrongdoing. Thus, I object among others, to proposals allowing:

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OPINION

1) Either spouse or both spouses jointly to file a petition for divorce, for that in effect will allow even the guilty party or the one who is the very cause of the broken marriage to profit from his or her own wrongdoing. It will also allow the spouses to collude and thus either suppress or fabricate evidence, making a mockery of the judicial process.

2) Grounds that can be deliberately caused by a party who, with utter malice, wants his or her marriage terminated, i.e., de facto separation, for all that a guilty party or the very cause of the breakdown of the marriage has to do is to abandon his or her spouse;

3) Irreconcilable differences without providing sufficient ground for divorce, for that will allow the parties to subjectively make the determination themselves and thus be based on their mere whim.

SEVERO BRILLANTES
[email protected]

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