MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Francis Escudero has added his voice to parties who do not favor legalizing divorce in the country.
Escudero spoke out against provisions of the divorce bill in an interview after Independence Day rites in Bacolod.
"Against ako sa nakita kong probisyon on divorce dahil pinapadali lamang nito ang divorce. Para sa akin, importante gawing mas accessible at gawing mas affordable ang annulment. Sa ngayon, mayayaman lang ang nagpapa-annul dito sa Pilipinas. Ang mahihirap, naghihiwalay na lamang at nagli-live-in pagkatapos pero may batas naman tayo kaugnay ng annulment," he said in an interview.
Escudero said if lawmakers continue to push for a divorce law, the measure should clarify who is the guilty spouse and disallow that person from marrying again.
"Ang nais nilang ground pag nanggugulpi ka daw, kung lasenggo ka at kung adik, pwedeng mag-divorce. Ang problema sa divorce, pwedeng mag-asawa pareho. So yung dating nanggugulpi, iba naman gugulpihin. Yung dating lasenggo, iba naman yung kasama niya habang lasing siya. Yung dating adik iba na naman ang kasama niya habang adik siya," he said.
A report by Philippine Star columnist Ricky Lo said Escudero and his wife, Christine Flores, have separated after 10 years of marriage.
The senator has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
Escudero, meanwhile, said he also wants to clarify some of the provisions of the Reproductive Health Bill.
He said he wants to make sure that the bill does not support abortion, there should be a provision stating that the Church and State should not intervene with the decision of the couple and as such the couple should be have an informed choice on planning their family.
He said sex education should only start in first year high school.
Escudero said the current tensions in the South China Sea should be handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs. He said he supports a diplomatic solution to the problem with China.