Monday, January 24, 2011

PRO-POOR YET PRO-WRONG

“The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” (Phil. Constitution, Section 12).

Marriage is categorically not a mere contract that can be done away with at the instance of either or both parties therein. Marriage is definitely neither like using a car, getting rid of this thereafter in order to get a better looking one. Marriage is definitely an institution in the order of nature and thus recognized accordingly by the 1987 Philippine Constitution as nothing less than a State Policy.

Meantime, there is the provision of ab initio valid marriage that however rests voidable through subsequent annulment by post factum reasons – such as infidelity, violence, abandonment and psychological incapacity. There is the ease of committing adultery, or the option to stage spousal violence, or the decision to abandon a marital partner, or the readiness to admit psychological incapacity – specifically and conveniently to obtain marriage annulment for a cost or but a whistle.

Furthermore, there is also the key question of how many marriages can someone enter into and subsequently annul – for any of the above cited grounds. Then, there is furthermore the big concern of how many homes can be broken, how many families can be abandoned by somebody by getting annulments one after another. Finally, on the ground reality proves that anyone found guilty of infidelity, violence, abandonment or considered belabored by psychological incapacity, does not even meet the fundamental requirement for institutional marriage intents and purposes.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture: Sanctity of family life plus protection and strengthening of the family as an autonomous basic social institution on one hand, and possible marriage annulments on the other hand, on account of several reasons that can be readily staged and even deliberately recorded for intentionally destroying family life, for getting rid of families and having new ones.

And here comes a “Bill” filed supposedly with the noble intention and impressive purpose of helping the poor – a misused and overused political manifesto. What is wrong cannot be made right just for being cheap to have. Furthermore, most of those seeking “Marriage Annulment” are counted among moneyed people. With the provisions not only on marriage nullity but also marriage annulment plus divorce (Family Code Art. 26) – why get married at all? Just thinking.

OVCRUZ, JCD
24 JANUARY 2011