Good news: Undeterred by Pres. Duterte’s refusal to support the former divorce bill by the House of Representatives, Sen. Risa Hontiveros continues to push for the measure by filing the Senate Bill 2134 known as the “Divorce Act of 2018.”
According to Sen. Risa, “It has been well-documented that the absence of a divorce law has had disproportionate effects on women who are more often victims of abuse within marriages, and who are forced to remain in joyless and unhealthy unions because of the dearth of legal options.” She added, “Studies have shown that breaking free from such unions and being given a fresh start result in improved health outcomes for women,” and that “it is not divorce that creates well-being issues for children, it is bearing witness to the troubled marriages of their parents.”
Under the bill she filed, grounds for divorce include “physical violence and grossly abusive conduct,” “psychological incapacity of either spouse,” “irreconcilable marital differences,” marital rape, and being “separated for at least 5 years.”
Moreover, parties who will be “found by the court to have used his or her force or resorted to fraud to compel the other party to file a petition will be slapped with a P200,000 fine plus a 5-year imprisonment.”
The former initiative was unsupported by the president because, as he put it, his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, “is not happy with it.
Hopefully this time, he will take the Filipinos’ plight into consideration.