In an article on ABS-CBNNews.com, Senator Pia Cayetano berated Senator Chiz Ecudero for opposing the passing of a divorce bill in the Philippines. "Eh ang problema naman sa kalalakihan, lagi naman sila takot humarap sa mga bills that seem to affect [their] personal relationships eh," she is quoted as saying. "That is the tendency of men. On the one extent, men are very strong, but on the other, they seem to be very hesitant to explore these issues which are very important."
Cayetano, whose own annulment with her husband, Ari Ben Sebastian, is still pending after eight years, believes it's time for the country to pass a divorce bill. "The divorce bill is long overdue because we prefer not to touch issues that we regard sensitive and personal. But the time has come for us to realize that many things that go on in a family’s home require legislation and where the rights of every individual are respected."
She cited cases of women with abusive husbands who can't end their marriages even if they want to. "We are the only country in the world [without divorce]; other Catholic countries in the world have divorce. So what is our point? We want to say we're the only country with families willing to suffer? Is that something we are proud of? What does it mean? Does it mean na mas mapag-tiis tayo? Does it mean na mas ignorant tayo? It just means that the policy makers refuse to look at these issues."
While there is currently no pending divorce bill in legislation, Cayetano has already analyzed the Family Code herself to check for possible amendments. "Walang divorce bill na nakafile pa sa atin," she is quoted as saying. "I can easily file one. There's no issue about it."
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(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)