'Family is basic unit of society': Cayetano says against divorce

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2020 10:14 PM

MANILA - House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Friday he is against divorce being legalized in the Philippines, saying that "family is the basic unit" of society.

"My personal view, na di ko naman iniimpose sa Kongreso, is once na mag-divorce ka, ang pupuntahan na noon ay no-fault divorce," Cayetano told reporters during a mass wedding event in Paranaque.

(My personal view, which I'm not imposing on Congress, is once you file for divorce, that will lead to no-fault divorce.)

He said that no-fault divorce, in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party, will bring "more problems than solutions".

"'Yung naghiwalay lang pero yung inabandona 'yung pamilya tapos may mekanismo sila na magpakasal ulit, baka more problems than solutions,” Cayetano said.

(If one of them separated and abandoned his family only to marry again, it might cause more problems than solutions.)

He said that "impossible marriages", in which one of the couple is being maltreated by the other, is understandable but not enough for the passage of divorce in the country.

"Sabi ko nga po sa chairperson ng [House] committee [on population and family relations], eh pag-aralan niyo ang paano na mas madali na i-dissolve 'yung impossible marriage. Pero huwag 'yung divorce kasi ang pupuntahan ng divorce ay no-fault divorce," Cayetano said.

(I told the chairperson of the House committee on population and family relations to study how to ease the dissolution of impossible marriages. But not divorce, since it will lead to no-fault divorce.)

The House panel approved on Feb.5 three measures seeking to legalize divorce in predominantly Catholic Philippines, the only country in the world aside from the Vatican where it remains illegal. 

Lawmakers have regularly filed a bill to legalize divorce since 1999. The House of Representatives last year passed the measure on third and final reading but it failed in the Senate.--Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News