Speaker nixes divorce; House to poll members on controversial issues

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2019 02:43 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives will poll its members on their stand on controversial measures like federalism, divorce, and death penalty, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday as he revealed his preference for marriage annulment.

The House survey will be conducted during its break and the first week of November, the Taguig-Pateros lawmaker said. 

”Sinabi ko sa kanila we have to act depending on our conscience, pero babalansehin din natin yun sa priorities ng administrasyon. Kung yung konsensya natin at gusto ng administrasyon ay pareho, wala tayong problema," he told reporters in New Clark City, Tarlac.

(I told them we have to act depending on our conscience, but we also have to balance the administration's priorities. If our conscience and the administration's wishes are the same, there's no problem.)

Although Cayetano said he prefers a "more democratic and accessible" annulment as an option for married couples, he said his personal stand will not take precedence over the whole body and that House leadership will prioritize measures which already enjoy consensus.

”I can assure you of full debates and discussions on all of these issues. Definitely for impossible marriages, ibig sabihin yung ginugulpi yung asawa, or yung psychologically incapacitated, we have to find a solution," he said.

"Let the committees at yung plenary debate (on) this.”

Gabriela Women's Party earlier welcomed the remark of the House panel on population and family relations that it would prioritize the divorce bill, which hurdled the lower chamber during the 17th Congress. 

"Stuck na nga tayo sa matinding trapik. Sobra na kung hahayaan pa natin ang ating mga kababayan na ma-stuck sa mapang-abusong relasyon," said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said.

(We're already stuck in severe traffic, it would be worse if we will let our people get stuck in abusive relationships too.)

"Panahon na para agarang ipasa ang divorce habang patuloy na itinataguyod ang sanctity ng kasal."

(It's time for the immediate passage of divorce while upholding the sanctity of marriage.)