Columns

Through A Looking Glass (Alice H. Reyes): On legalizing divorce

 It has been over half a century since the legalization of divorce in the Philippines was seriously taken up by the Philippine Congress.
     Most of the advocates of divorce are long gone, never to benefit from the divorce law, if passed..
    Recently, I learned that the members of the Lower House have taken steps to legalize divorce. It is an idea whose time has come.
      The Philippines is probably the only country in the civilized world  where divorce is not legal. Over the past decades, many children have been born out of wedlock, Filipinos   engaged  in extramarital affairs,and many Catholics have forsaken their religion to be so-called Born Again Christians.
      As a Catholic, I acknowledge that divorce is not an option for Catholic couples. The Catholic Church’s stand on this matter is clear. Matrimony is a sacrament and marriage is indissoluble.
    Catholics true to their faith, therefore, will not avail of divorce, if legalized in the Philippines.
     Despite my being a Catholic, I believe that non-Catholics should have the right to divorce, if and when needed, for the following reasons:
–To maintain peace in the family for the sake of the children
–To prevent physical harm
–To prevent the birth of bastards
–To ensure financial stability of all parties
–To do away with extramarital affairs
   I have seen too many couples in a  loveless marriage who cannot get out of it because divorce is not legal in the Philippines.
      As a result, one or the other has resorted to an extramarital relationship or migrated to other countries, where divorce is available.
      I have heard that the House of Representatives is threshing out the details  of the proposed divorce bill.
    I hope that the bill if or when enacted into law, will not make divorce easily available. Divorce should be the last resort for unhappy couples.
     In the past, besides the Catholic Church, male legislators in a predominantly male Congress have objected to the legalization of divorce.
       I venture to trust that the 24 members of our august Senate will be enlightened enough to see that this divorce bill needs to be passed, the sooner the better.

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