Press Release
July 10, 2019


*Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the filing of the Divorce Bill

Karapatan nating lahat na magmahal, mahalin at maging masaya kapiling ang mga mahal natin sa buhay. Anuman ang katayuan natin sa lipunan, karapatan nating lahat na lumigaya.

Kaya mataas ang aking respeto sa mga taong nagpapakasal. Bukod sa pagdiriwang ito ng pagmamahalan, ang kasal ay pagtataya sa tapat na pagsasama, sa hirap man o ginhawa.

Ganoon pa man, buo rin ang aking simpatiya at suporta sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa mga kababaihang nais lumaya sa mga mapang-abusong relasyon. Hindi iilan lamang ang mga kababaihang biktima ng domestic violence at psychological abuse. They, together with their children, deserve not only a second chance, but all the chances available in this world to find true and meaningful relationships and build nurturing families.

For these reasons, I refiled the Divorce Act of 2019 in the 18th Congress. My proposed measure seeks to make "psychological incapacity of either spouse," "irreconcilable marital differences," marital rape, or being "separated for at least 5 years" grounds for divorce, among others.

This measure is for all. However, I want to stress the importance of protecting women from being trapped in abusive relationships and the need to provide a legal mechanism for that protection.

Women have often been trapped in abusive unions at the cost of their and their family's long term health. In 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) found that one in four women experience spousal violence. Unhealthy marriages bring trauma that are passed on for generations through children.

The passage of a divorce law is one of the ultimate forms of freedom we can give Filipino women. When we give them the real chance to turn the page, we allow them to return to safe and nurturing homes they can call their own again. We believe that this is real respect for the sanctity of family and marriage.

"It is our duty to protect the well-being and quality of life of our people, especially our women. A lack of legal options has tied wives and husbands to toxic pasts even when they have long been separated. Filipino women and families deserve a second chance to live good lives. Let us make it possible for them.

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