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COOP-NATCCO Partylist Thumbs Down Divorce Bill

QUEZON CITY --  After consultations with co-op leaders, Coop-NATCCO Partylist Representatives Anthony M. Bravo and Sabiniano Canama voted against the Divorce Bill.
 
After quoting the Bible on social media, Rep. Bravo said: “Bilang isang Kristiyano, ito ang aking personal na paniniwala na kailangan nating panatilihin ang sagrado ng kasal. At lalo pa itong napagtibay ng resulta ng aming survey sa constituents ng Coop-Natcco. Kaya po sa botohan ngayon sa plenary para sa third and final reading, bumoto ang inyong lingkod ng NO sa divorce bill." (As a Christian, this is my personal belief that we must maintain the sanctity of marriage.  And this was further reinforced by our survey of Coop-NATCCO Partylist constituents.  That is why at the voting in the plenary for the third and final reading, I voted “NO” to the the Divorce Bill.)
 
Nevertheless, the House of Representatives on March 19 approved on third and final reading the bill which seeks to legalize absolute divorce and dissolution of marriage in the country.
 
Voting 134 for and 57 against, with two abstaining, the lawmakers approved House Bill No. 7303 – “An Act Instituting Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage in the Philippines.”
 
The House started its period of debate and interpellation on the proposed measure last March 12 and approved it on second reading two days after.
 
The bill seeks to provide spouses in “irremediably failed marriages” to secure an absolute divorce decree under limited grounds, to protect children from pain and stress resulting from their parents’ marital problems, and to grant divorced spouses to marry again.
Grounds for an absolute divorce include the following: reasons stated under legal separation and annulment under the Family Code of the Philippines, separation in fact for at least five years, legal separation by judicial decree for at least two years, psychological incapacity, gender reassignment surgery, irreconcilable differences, and joint petition of spouses. 
 
However, in an interview aired over ANC, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez told TV hose Karen Davila a divorce is justified when one party simply wants it.
 
The bill also provides for a mandatory six-month cooling-off period for petitioner spouses, and also recognizes the reconciliation of the spouses through a joint manifesto under oath submitted to the court.
 
The bill was submitted to the Senate. Some members of the upper Chamber had already expressed opposition to the divorce bill.
“Why do we have to condemn couples to get trapped in this situation where their relationship is already irreparable?” Alvarez said.
On the Church’s opposition to the Bill, Alvarez said that if the Catholic Church does not agree to divorce, it should tell its flock not to avail of such a legal option to end their marriages.
 
“But let us not impose that belief on those who are not members of the Catholic Church. What is wrong is that the Catholic Church wants its doctrine be implemented through our laws—that is unacceptable,” Alvarez said.
 
He noted that the Philippines is the only country in the world, aside from the Vatican, that does not have a divorce law.
Msgr. Hernando M. coronel, Parish Priest of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo wrote Rep. Bavo: “We are most appreciative of the courageous stand you took against the Divorce Bill (HB 7303).  We are graced by people like yourselves who are at the side of the sanctity of marriage, family values, obedience to God .”
 
The priest added: Standing by personal convictions and conscience would entail some cost in terms of perks, position.  The vote you took meant sacrifice.”
 
In conclusion: “We are assuring you for the prayers of our Quiapo Community before the Nazareno. . .  May your tribe increase!”
 
www.inquirer.net, www.congress.gov.ph
 

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