Following news that Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed a bill allowing absolute divorce in the Philippines, Sen. Koko Pimentel offered another suggestion: don’t call it “divorce.”
During a recent Kapihan sa Senado, Sen. Pimentel said he’s not for “US-style divorce,” pertaining to couples who choose to end their marriages because “the love is gone.” I mean, isn’t that the point of splitting up in the first place?
He continued saying that the term “divorce” is too “loaded,” and that it gives Filipinos the idea of no-fault divorces. “Anong ibig sabihin ng no fault divorce? Ayaw na namin sa isa’t-isa. Kung ganyan ang tinatanong mo sa amin na kasama ‘yang ganyang konsepto, hindi ako sang-ayon dyan,” (What does no fault divorce mean? It means we don’t like each other anymore. If you’re asking me about the inclusion of that concept [in the law,] I don’t support it) he said.
According to FindLaw, this refers to a divorce wherein either party doesn’t have to prove any fault on the part of their spouse. The most common reasons for this are irreconcilable differences or an irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
Sen. Pimentel then suggested that it should instead be called a “dissolution of marriage.” He claimed this would allow married couples to find a “remedy” to their irreconcilable differences, and by changing the name, it won’t lead to an “American-style divorce.”
On the contrary, a divorce is defined as “the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.” In US states like Connecticut, they call it “dissolution of a marriage,” but it still has the same process and end result of a divorce proceeding.
Additionally, Rocket Lawyer noted that in order to file a no-fault divorce, “You must file a ‘Petition for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage.'” Basically, they’re the same—you’re ending a marriage either way you put it.
In fact, this isn’t the first time Sen. Pimentel suggested a name change. In 2017, he made the same statement but also noted, “Ang aking point ay kung binigyan lang ng bagong pangalan ang divorce, bakit hindi na lang talaga nating sabihing divorce kesa itago-tago pa natin sa ibang pangalan?” (My point is if we’re giving divorce a different name, why don’t we just call it “divorce” instead of hiding it behind a different name?) Present Pimentel should really listen to 2017 Pimentel.
Also, we shouldn’t solely focus on no-fault causes for divorce. Remember that legalizing divorce will make it easier for people to leave abusive marriages and to also be unbound from their spouse who they’ve separated from for more than five years. It’s not a senseless law, it is beneficial for everybody.[Inquirer.net]
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
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