MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III has found some allies on the issue of whether or not he should get married.
Beth Angsioco, national chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, said Aquino has every right to marry despite retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz's advice that the President remain a bachelor. "Personal na isyu ang pag aasawa para sa isang tao lalo na para kay Pangulong Noynoy Aquino," Angsioco said.
She added that the Church is resorting to personal attacks against the President for supporting the Reproductive Health Bill.
Parenting and relation expert Maribel Dionisio said age should not be a factor when it comes to the success of a marriage. "Basta't handa sa papasok na buhay may asawa ang isang tao, ordinaryo man o Pangulo, walang edad na kinakailangan," Dionisio said.
She advised Aquino to write down his qualifications of an ideal mate and what his goals are for the future "so that they can talk it out."
She said couples should work on how to strengthen their relationship even before they get married.
Archbishop Cruz earlier said the 51-year-old President should stay a bachelor. Citing statistics from church courts, the priest said those who get married after 40 may have an unstable union.
"We found out that those who get married young, and by young, 20 years old below, and those who get married old, 40 above, these are the marriages which are unstable. The younger part, it's unstable. They are movable. They change. Marriage is a continuity, it's a permanence and easily they change. It doesn't suit their age," he told ANC's "Headstart."
"But 40 above, marriage is blending. Two in one. Somebody who's 40, 50, 60 cannot blend anymore."
He, however, said there could be exceptions. "I'm just saying our statistics is yung mga bata, hindi dapat magpakasal. Yung matatanda hindi rin dapat magpakasal. Baka may exception ha," he said.
Cruz is in charge of the Catholic Church's court of marriage cases as well as the Church's court of appeals.
He said statistics on marriage are different for people who are on their second marriages after their first spouse died or if their first marriage was annulled.
Asked if the President would be a better leader if he was married, Cruz said: "I do not know...Happier or not, no more. I'm thinking more about marriage per se. The person is there. But as I said, no. 40 is old."
A spokeswoman for President Aquino, meanwhile, twitted Cruz for his comment.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said: "While everyone recognizes Archbishop Cruz's credentials as a Canon lawyer, to the best of my knowledge, he is not a marriage counselor. Neither does he have a personal relationship with the President as to make a deductive conclusion regarding his personal life. May I also note that Archbishop Cruz's comments are increasingly becoming personal, bizarre and unfair. "
Aquino, 51, has previously admitted that he has been unlucky in love. His past dates include celebrity stylist Liz Uy, Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad and stockbroker Len Lopez. He has also been linked to Sabrina Chua of the Singapore-based Channel News Asia.