Estrada: Divorce bill not a priority in Senate

(GMA NEWS) The divorce bill will not be a priority even under the new Senate leadership.

This was stated by newly installed Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada amid discussions following the House of Representatives’ approval of its version of the measure on third and final reading.

“That is not our priority bill,” Estrada, who recently divulged to the media the position of his colleagues on divorce, said during the Kapihan sa Senado forum.

“Ngayon, sa change of leadership, uunahin namin ‘yung mga priority bills. ‘Yung divorce bill naman kahit may divorce bill o walang divorce bill, hindi makakatulong sa kumakalam na tiyan ‘yan,” he added.

Estrada said he conducted the “survey” among his colleagues because he was just curious about their position on the measure as the Lower House has already approved it.

He noted that the Senate top leaders, namely Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Majority Leader Francis Tolentino, and even former Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri is against it.

“Medyo close fight e kumbaga…Mabigat. Talagang dadaan sa butas ng karayom,” he stated.

For Estrada, divorce should not be passed because it is against the teaching of the Catholic Church and it will not address hunger in the country.

“I’m a devout Catholic. I was educated from a Jesuit educated school and  I adhere to the teachings of our Catholic Church, period,” he said.

In lieu of a bill legalizing divorce, Estrada suggested crafting a measure that would make annulment “easier” and “affordable” for the Filipino people.

In the same forum, Estrada disclosed his conversation with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. last week during the latter’s attendance at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue.

“After his speech that evening, on Friday evening, he intimated to me that there are lot of bills that has to be passed. Ang sabi niya sa akin, ililista na lang daw niya ‘yung mga priority bills that should merit the attention of the Senate…mostly economic [bills],” he said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News