MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang squelched talk that the divorce bill is next after the passage of the reproductive health bill, saying that it is not "on the radar" of President Aquino.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Seceretary Ricky Carandang said the divorce bill is not being discussed by the President nor by Palace officials.
"That’s not on the radar," Carandang told reporters.
"We always said that this was not something we were thinking about at this point time. I can say that it’s really not something that the administration is contemplating. It’s not on the radar."
Asked about the chances of the divorce bill being passed within Aquino’s term, Carandang said: "We’re not even thinking about that."
"We haven’t been thinking about it. So we haven’t even gotten to that point where there [are] people in the cabinet or the President himself discussing it. So wala talaga sa radar namin ‘yung divorce at this point," he said.
Early in his term, Aquino already stated that he was against divorce.
In an interview with reporters in August 2010, Aquino said: "Sa divorce, definitely I cannot support something like what you do in Las Vegas— ‘yung stereotype is you get married in the morning, you can get divorced in the afternoon. But I do recognize that there have been unions that were wrong, that no matter what interventions are done, no matter what counseling is done, they really cannot stay together. And there is danger to either one or both parties in the marriage especially the children."
"So my own personal position on this point, but there are studies that have to be made, divorce is a no-no. But in legal separation, that will be very, very stringent. You really have to assert that there really are irreconcilable differences. Medyo long period. Sa Tagalog, parang padaanin sa sampung butas ng karayom. But at the end of the day, they should be allowed to re-marry."
Falling out of love
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said he believes that the divorce bill may finally be tackled in the 16th Congress.
He said the bill had no chance to be passed in the 15th Congress since there is not much time left.
The bill, which he supports, is still in the committee on constitutional amendments. Only one hearing has been set for the bill filed Gabriela Party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan.
Just like the RH bill that Congress passed on Monday, the Catholic Church is strongly against the divorce bill. They believe it will destroy the Filipino family.
Belmonte said there is no sense to live with a spouse if a person has fallen out of love with him or her because of an attitude or personality that did not manifest during the "boyfriend-girlfriend stage." With Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News