WOULD AN ABSOLUTE DIVORCE LEGISLATION BE PURSUANT TO THE TEXT, CONTEXT AND SPIRIT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES?
Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, in nonetheless than the declaration of principles, and State policies, very expressly and even categorically says that the State shall strengthen the family as a basic autonomous entity. Furthermore, the very first Article of the Family Code of the Philippines provides that marriage is an inviolable social institution.
How could absolute divorce strengthen the Filipino family? How would absolute divorce make the family an inviolable social institution? It is a big sophism and an untenable rationalization to say that by destroying the family, it is strengthened; by dividing the family, it is made inviolable!
The undeniable fact is that it is precisely the absence of absolute divorce in the Philippines that has kept millions of couples together in joy and in pain, that has saved practically innumerable families from breaking apart. The law on absolute divorce already threatens to violate the marriage vows for life even before these are pronounced.
WOULD IT STAND REASON AND LOGIC TO CLAIM THAT ABSOLUTE DIVORCE IS AFTER ALL PRACTICALLY THE SAME AS MARRIAGE NULLITY DECLARATIONS AND MARRIAGE ANNULMENTS?
The present Family Code of the Philippines has already provisions for nullity and annulment of marriage—in addition to legal separation. A nullity declaration means that a marriage is ab initio null and void. Marriage annulment on the other hand means that a valid marriage is voided or invalidated. Absolute divorce however means that a valid and non-voidable marriage is still dissolved. These three legal actions against de jure and de marriages actions are definitely not the same, neither in significance nor implications.
If it is argued that the effects are the same. This is tantamount to saying that deaths by sickness or old age, by accident or lethal injection, by torture, massacre, terrorism and the like, nare all the same. This is ridiculous to say the least as far as the causes of death are concerned, ranging from the obvious to the vicious.
The truth of the matter is that for humanistic reasons if not for purposes of convenience or hedonistic intents, there appears to be the insidious attempt to break and dissolve Filipino marriages by any and all possible means, at whatever the costs to the family, to the community, to the Country. If one is not content with legal separation, try marriage nullity. If nullity is not possible, go for annulment. And, now, if even annulment is not viable, file for absolute divorce. With all these possibilities of getting rid of the reality of factual marriages, the question may be legitimately asked: Why get married at all? Would plain and open cohabitation be then the better option for men and women “in love”?
WOULD IT BE CONSONANT WITH THE DICTATES OF REASON AND THE PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE TO REWARD WITH A DIVORCE DECREE NOT ONLY THE VICTIM BUT ALSO THE CULPRIT ACCORDING TO THE PROPOSED GROUNDS FOR ABSOLUTE DIVORCE?
It is said that an absolute divorce may be obtained on the grounds of drug addiction, homosexuality, sexual perversion among many other envisioned possible causes. In any of presence of any of these factors causative of divorce, the freedom to remarry favors not only the victim but also the culprit.
The disturbing but surely meritorious question is this: If the culprit is still allowed to remarry, then all his or her subsequent re-marriages are all open and subject to divorce. Reason: A divorce grant does not cure drug addiction, neither reverses homosexuality nor correct sexual perversion.
Or is it rather the simple matter of alimony or financial support imposed on the party concerned? Is such were the case, the moneyed people are favored as they are capable of giving as much money demanded by as many “ex wives” or “ex husbands” and “ex-families” possible. And what if the said party concerned cannot afford to pay the imposed alimony/support? Would this party be also allowed to remarry as well, allowed to divorce again, and thereby again allowed to leave his or her spouse and the children without financial support?
6 June 2011