Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If there is one thing about politics and laws that I strongly believe in (except for the RH Bill), it is the legalization of divorce here in the country where priests hold even the most ruthless politicians by the balls.

Did you know that only the Philippines and Malta are the only places in the world that does not have a Divorce Law? I bet you already did since it has been circulating in Twitter and even in the news recently. So, what's the big deal? We are a God-fearing nation, right? We are atop a moral pedestal and are better than the 99% of the world which have already legalized such an immoral unnecessary decree.

Before we start this tumultuous debate, let us first differentiate annulment (which is legal in the country) and divorce (which is not and probably will never be unless people start to open their eyes and see the dust underneath the Persian carpet).

ANNULMENT is a legal procedure which terminates a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulment erases the complete existence of the marriage legally and it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid whereas DIVORCE, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the termination of a valid marriage between a man and a woman. After divorce both the parties can regain their single status and can legally remarry.
Grounds for Annulment are: Marriage when one spouse is under aged, marriage under duress, due to non-disclosure of previously existing marriage by one spouse, mental or physical incapability (permanent or temporary) or fraud.

Grounds for Divorce are desertion, adultery, cruel treatment, imprisonment, institutionalization, domestic violence, habitual alcoholism, abnormal sexual conduct, non-disclosure of facts, different personal beliefs and increase in martial dissatisfaction.

It sounds to me that if a couple is married (say with kids) for a long period of time and decides to file for an annulment (seeing that they have no choice since divorce is seen in this country as an evil incarnate of Satan himself as it wrecks the holiness and sanctity of marriage) they are legally erasing every year, day and hour that they have been together, under the same roof rearing children as husband and wife.

I don't know if others share the same belief but I think that admitting that a relationship cannot be saved is BETTER than denying it ever happened.

Then, think of the children. Some marriages are better off dead rather than having kids grow up in a hostile environment of parents screaming at each other day after day. But what happens after annulment? What happens to the children now in limbo because they came from fathers and mothers whose marriage never happened, whose love was consummated from a union that never was?

At least divorce has balls to acknowledge both the sweetness and bitterness of the past rather than taking the easier road by technically erasing everything that ever happened.

In the end, both accomplish the same thing. Woman and man go their own separate ways, both breaking the vow that they made before the church and state. The only difference is, with divorce still not legal here in the country, the politicians and the priests can give off the illusion of sainthood and morality as not one sacred marriage has technically been broken since it never legally happened. BRAVO!

The only downside of divorce being legal in the country is its high potential for abuse. Couples might enter marriage haphazardly since they know they can get out of it just as easily.

But I trust in the intelligence of the Filipino people, I believe in the values from the culture that we are imbued with. Just because a certain matter is already considered legal in the eyes of the law does not mean couples left and right will be filing for one. 

I believe that couples will still try, as hard as they can for as long as they can endure before even thinking about such a permanent option.

You can call me an optimist but, see, I am convinced that love can further prove itself by surviving despite the option of termination, not because it has no choice but to stay, but because it wants to.



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