Jinggoy names other senators opposed to divorce bill

(ABS-CBN NEWS) MANILA — Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday said the divorce bill is not a priority of the Senate after the House of Representatives approved a similar measure last week.

• Absolute divorce bill gets final House nod

Estrada admitted he himself is against the proposed measure.

“I have been — and still am not in favor of legalizing divorce in our country.. .Imbes na divorce, bakit hindi na lang natin pag-aralan kung paano mas katanggap-tanggap at mapapagaan ang proseso ng pagkuha ng annulment ng kasal?” Estrada said.

(Instead of divorce, why don’t we look into how we can make annulment of marriage easier and more acceptable?)

An annulled marriage is deemed to have been invalid from the start, meaning there was legally no marriage at all.  

Under the Family Code, a marriage can be voided if either partner is “of unsound mind”, if consent for the marriage was obtained through fraud or force, the couple being physically incapable of consummating the marriage, or either party having a sexually-transmitted infection that is “serious and appears to be incurable.”

Annulment proceedings are done in court and entail the cost of lawyers and of experts who will testify on the supposed grounds for declaring the marriage invalid from the start.


Estrada also shared the result of his “informal survey” among senators, which showed that Senate Majority Leader Francis Tolentino and Sens. Joel Villanueva and Ronald dela Rosa are also against the divorce bill.

The Senate’s version of the divorce bill, Senate Bill 2443, was principally authored by Sens. Risa Hontiveros, Raffy Tulfo, Robinhood Padilla, Pia Cayetano and Imee Marcos. It is currently pending on Second Reading before the Senate Plenary.

Meanwhile, Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero explained that his main objection to the House-approved bill is the use of the word divorce. 

• Chiz says House-approved divorce bill not affordable for the poor

Escudero reiterates that he does not see how the House-approved proposal will be accessible to the poor because it does not authorize the Public Attorney’s Office to take on those cases. 

While the bill makes the process easier, it would still require lawyers that would entail costs, the Senate leader said.

“So tila ang amendment ay pang mayaman na naman para mapadali ang divorce hindi pa rin angkop sa ating mga mahihirap na kababayan na nasa hindi magandang relasyon,” Escudero said.

Escudero said he may reverse his objection if his proposed amendments are accepted.