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Sotto: ‘Upgrade’ on annulment law, not divorce, may get Senate support

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday divorce might not have a chance in the Senate but an ‘upgrade’ on the annulment law may be considered.

Sotto said he has been trying to get the sense of his colleagues on the issue and many of them have apprehension on divorce.

“The consensus at this point is.. there is a problem on the word divorce. Andudun yung problema. Mukhang mas madali doon sa amin, karamihan sa amin, mas madali kung ang pag-uusapan natin eh dissolution of marriage. In other words, it is an upgraded annulment law,” he told reporters.

“Yung karamihan, narinig ko, open sila basta’t hindi word na divorce ang gagamitin…There is more probability or possibility of support if it is not called divorce or we’re not talking of divorce but we’re talking of dissolution of marriage,” he added.

He said in the dissolution of marriage, the requirements will be relaxed, including the participation of the Solicitor General, the money the concerned parties have to shell out, and the period it will be tackled by the court.

“Hindi dapat nagtatagal sa korte yan. Dapat, being the principal author of the family courts, dun na lang confined para doon lang kaagad yung nagha-handle nun, mas madaling i-take up,” he said.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, for his part, said he does not want the Las Vegas style of divorce in the Philippines.

“Ayoko lang mangyari na parang American style divorce na parang Las Vegas. Ikakasal ka in front of Elvis Presley mamaya-maya divorce kaagad tapos kasal ulit ng panibagong girlfriend, divorce kaagad. Ayoko ng medyo dysfunctional ang dating ng concept of marriage,” he said.

He said the senators also wanted to make the annulment process more effective.

“We already have annulment in the Philippines. It is making it more an efficient annulment process. In other words, katulad ng sinabi nya, maybe it’s possible to just remove the Office of the Solicitor General. Bakit may OSG pa na component ang annulment and other components. I think that one is more acceptable to the majority of the members,” he said.

Divorce advocates met with Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier in the day to step up efforts to pass a divorce law in the country.

These were Divorce Advocates of the Philippines (DAP), Boses ng Kababaihan, Divorce for the Philippines Now International (DIPI), Divorce Philippines Coalition (DPC), and Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage Philippines (DDoMPh). — RSJ, GMA News